Holley soldier severely burned while serving in Afghanistan
Posted at: 07/12/2012 4:58 PM
| Updated at: 07/12/2012 8:36 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
News10NBC is learning more about a soldier from Holley that was severely burned in an accident in Afghanistan.
21-year-old Cody Raymond Coopenberg was injured last weekend while refueling a generator. It exploded in his face and he suffered burns over 60% of his body.
Coopenberg is a graduate of Holley High School. His family still has a lot of questions. All they know is that he was severely burned when a generator blew up. They don’t know why or what went wrong.
Raymond Coopenberg, soldier's grandfather, said, “My daughter called me last Saturday and said my grandson Cody had been, he was fueling a generator and it blew up on him. And he has third degree burns over 60% of his body and he's not in good shape at all.”
The accident happened at a base in Kandahar province. Cody was flown first to Germany then to Brooks Army Hospital in San Antonio. The Army flew his Mom out to Texas, where News10NBC spoke with her by phone Thursday afternoon.
Pamela Coopenberg Briggs, soldier's mother, said, “He's all bandaged up so I really don't know what he looks like. But he does have bandages. They are doing skin grafts to his arms from skin taken off his leg and putting it on his arms. And as far as the extent of the rest of his injuries, it's really bad but we don't know how the outcome is going to be at this point.”
Cody married his girlfriend Hannah in March. They have an 18-month-old son. Right now, he is under round-the clock observation by an Army medical team.
Raymond Coopenberg said, “He’s fighting for his life. It's a sad situation. He's not going to be him. You know what burns do to human flesh. He's all wrapped in white and disinfectant material. They're worried about infection of course.”
Coopenberg has another grandson serving in the Air Force. But right now his thoughts are on the one that carries his name.
Raymond Coopenberg said, “You know, I would just say I wish him all the luck in the world.”
Cody’s wife, Hannah, is also down in Texas with him. Their 18-month-old son is staying with her mother in Hamlin. Cody’s father, an over-the-road trucker, is on his way to Texas.
Cody’s mom says her son is getting the best care and the Army has been very helpful to the family. His mother says Cody is a volunteer with the Holley Fire Department, which is working on a blood drive for him. No details just yet. They’re also getting a lot of support from friends he has in the San Antonio area.