11 May 2010

A Mother's Love

Eva with her son and our Hero, Joseph "Jay" Briseno.

"Probably other mothers regret having their sons or daughters go to war, especially when they come home hurt. It's not easy seeing your child be in this position. We are so proud of Jay and we thank God every single day that we have him."

- Eva Briseno

A bullet in Baghdad, a son's need, a mother's love

By AP Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione
Sunday May 9, 2010

MANASSAS PARK, Va. – There are mothers who will spend today missing sons and daughters fighting overseas. There are women who have lost children in those wars, for whom Mother's Day will never be the same.

And then there is Eva Briseno.

Joseph Briseno Jr., Eva's 27-year-old son, is one of the most severely wounded soldiers ever to survive. A bullet to the back of his head in a Baghdad marketplace in 2003 left him paralyzed, brain-damaged and blind, but awake and aware of his condition.

Eva takes care of "Jay" in her suburban Virginia home where the family room has been transformed into an intensive care unit, with the breathing machine and tubes he needs to stay alive.

She sleeps a few hours at a time, when the schedule says it is her turn, often slumped in exhaustion by his side.

She has been out to dinner with her husband, Joseph Sr., once in seven years.

She could have a better life if she put Jay in a nursing home. Or if she went back to using the home health care nurses the government provided. But one looked indifferently without wiping Jay's mouth when he drooled. Others fell asleep on the night shift, inattentive while Jay suffered seizures.

What keeps Eva going is hope that stem cells or some future treatment advance will help her son.

"I do believe in miracles," she says.

Yet desperation clouds her prayers. "Most of the time I ask God if I can take Jay's place," she confesses, unable to suppress a sob.

Hearing his mother, Jay cries too, the tears silently slipping from his blind eyes.

Just read the whole thing.

You can visit Eva's Facebook page here.

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