Pathfinder Award Winner
Eric Edmunson, 2011
Eric Edmundson is 31 years old and married to Stephanie. They have two children, Gracie 7 and Hunter 1. They live in New Bern, North Carolina.
Eric grew up in Iowa and shortly after graduation he joined the Army. His unit was deployed to Iraq in 2005. After only six weeks, the Stryker Eric was driving was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED). Eric was the most severely injured in the attack. He sustained a traumatic brain injury, fracture of T-4 and T-5 vertebrae, ruptured spleen, broken patella and numerous shrapnel wounds.
During a medical procedure being performed in Iraq to help stabilize Eric for transport to Germany, Eric had a heart attack. It took 30 minutes to revive Eric and due to lack of oxygen to his brain, he now lives with the effects of an anoxic brain injury. These injuries have left Eric with physical challenges that he continues to deal with, such as learning to walk, talk, and perform basic daily activities. In the interim, Eric does use a wheelchair and has a communication device to speak.
Eric is humbled and grateful to accept the SCI Pathfinder Award. In doing so you all have offered him a great opportunity to continue his dream and he is grateful.
As one of our two 2011 Pathfinder award winners, Eric will enjoy a 10-day safari with Numzaan Safaris in South Africa.