SSG Nicholas McCoy
Mission Accomplished n Nov. 11, 2011
In December 2006, Army Staff Sergeant Nicholas McCoy was on his second deployment when an improvised explosive device (IED) blast near Iskandariyah, Iraq, caused injuries so severe it required the amputations of both of his legs.
While he was on a patrol, an IED hidden in a pile of trash was detonated, injuring five Soldiers and killing one instantly. Thrown into the air, SSG McCoy’s right leg shattered during the blast. He also sustained a broken hip and severe injuries to his left leg. Transported to Landstuhl, Germany, and then flown directly to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, SSG McCoy remained in a medically induced coma for nearly two months.
SSG McCoy sustained a rare complication from Heparin called Heparin Induced Thrombosis, which caused a life-threatening skin necrosis, causing chemical-like burns on 45 percent of his body and leaving him with nerve damage. Treated as an inpatient for seven months, SSG McCoy endured surgeries and therapies to help in his recovery. He continues to be seen as an outpatient at this time. A native of Reading, Penn., Nick is happy to be calling Texas his home now. He enjoys hand cycling, quad-rugby, working on cars, and hunting and fishing – anything that keeps him active and outdoors.
Nick’s goal is to return to school to obtain a degree in occupational therapy so that he can become a physical or recreational therapist. When asked if there was anything he would like to say to those who made his specially adapted home possible, SSG McCoy expressed his appreciation and asks that we always remember that the real heroes are those who did not make it home. “Living in a Homes For Our Troops specially adapted custom home enables me to live a comfortable life in my own home… something I was not always sure would be possible,” he says.