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Pequeno Severely Limited After Attack In Iraq

The story of a severely injured National Guardsman is featured in the fall edition of New Hampshire National Guard magazine.

PDF: New Hampshire National Guard Magazine

The article details the injury and daily struggles of Staff Sgt. Jose Pequeno as he recovers from a brain injury he suffered more than two years ago when his group was ambushed in Iraq.
Pequeno cannot speak, write or move on his own after losing 50 percent of his brain mass.

The article describes the attack and the actions of Sgt. Thomas Middleton, the medic from Burlington, Vt., who first treated Pequeno after the attack. Middleton describes his guilt at saving someone as gravely injured as Pequeno because of the struggles he knew Pequeno would face.

"I have worked with a lot of people who were vegetables or on ventilators for a long time, and I didn't want that to happen to Pequeno," Middleton said. "That went through my head before I initiated care for him."

Pequeno's mother, Nelida Bagley, told Middleton that he shouldn't apologize for saving her son because he brought Pequeno back to his family.

Bagley has been at Pequeno's side every day since he returned.
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