Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Isle soldier, burned in
Iraq war, improving

His mom is delighted that his
ventilator is removed but
says he's 'not out of the woods'

The condition of a 21-year-old Hawaii soldier who was badly burned in Iraq improved enough that he was taken off a ventilator yesterday morning at a Texas military hospital, his mother said.

"He said, 'I'm hungry and thirsty,' when they removed the ventilator," said Vanessa Gandy, mother of Spc. Sean Mohika. "I said, 'Oh, boy, he's back.' "

"I'm overjoyed, but there's quite a long way to go," Gandy said. "He's still not out of the woods."

Mohika remains in critical but stable condition at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio. He is awaiting two possible surgeries, which have not yet been scheduled, said Gandy.

She said he cannot take anything by mouth and is being fed intravenously.

Mohika, who serves with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., was transported from Iraq via Germany to the burn unit at Brooke after suffering second- and third-degree burns on April 19.

Army officials told Gandy her son and two other soldiers walked by a bunker and saw a flash. The other two injured soldiers were friends of Mohika, Gandy said.

Gandy and the soldier's father, John Mohika, flew to San Antonio to be with their son.

Since being taken off the ventilator, Mohika had not talked about the incident. Gandy said she has not learned anything more and does not know where in Iraq he was at the time.

Cards and letters can be addressed to Sean Mohika, 3851 Roger Brooke Drive, Fort Sam Houston, TX 78234.

Hawaii military links and information


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