Army Sergeant Dies From 2005 Head Injury

Saturday, June 30th 2007, 5:46 pm
By: News On 6

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) _ An Army sergeant assigned to Fort Sill in Oklahoma who struggled for nearly two years to recover from a head injury sustained in Iraq died when his brain swelled after surgery.

The plight of 27-year-old Frank Sandoval of Yuma, Arizona, moved people in at least three states who followed his recovery at the Veterans Administration hospital in Palo Alto, California.

The Department of Defense says Sandoval died on June 18th after surgeons implanted a prosthesis to replace a part of his skull.

Sandoval was on his second tour in Iraq when a bomb left him badly wounded on November 28th, 2005. After he was airlifted to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC, his family was told he would probably not live more than 24 hours, and if he did, he would not be able to walk or see.

But he undertook months of rehabilitation and made much progress. Doctors said the prosthesis was designed to cover an exposed part of Sandoval's brain, which would have allowed him to stop wearing a protective helmet.