From one uniform to another, his new life is just beginning.
In 2011, one month before he was scheduled to return home, a roadside bomb tore off both of his legs and nearly completely severed his right arm. No morphine was available and their secluded location meant medical help was unlikely. Gregory says, “The only thing I could do was scream.”
In minutes, his fellow soldiers managed to apply tourniquets to his arm and legs, and, miraculously, he was loaded onto a helicopter half an hour later.
But the fight was just beginning. After the initial rescue, he was met with 50 surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy to regain his strength and mobility. He recounts the story honestly and soberly: “Even with the most loving, supporting family, friends, and community behind me, I was the one that was there in the middle of the night, in pain, in tears, wondering if I’ll ever get better.”
But after his experience, he says, “Not only did I still want to practice medicine, but it strengthened my resolve to do it.”
Gregory began taking night classes, and over two years, he managed to take 18 classes. In March 2017, six years after the explosion, he received his acceptance into Harvard Medical School. His classmates tell him that he “single-handedly makes the expensive Harvard tuition worth it.”
Not only is he on his way to achieving his dream of working in medicine, but during the first pre-med class he ever took, a General Psychology class, he met his now-fiancée, Jazmine. The couple is planning a wedding for next year.
Despite what he’s been through, no resentment lingers in his words. Instead, he says, “It’s not lost on me how unbelievable this ride has been and how lucky I am to be here.”
Hear the full story from Gregory in the video below.