Airman from Monroe is fighting for his life overseas

Airman from Monroe is fighting for his life overseas

Credit: Powers Family

Airman from Monroe is fighting for his life overseas

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by AMY COWMAN & CALEB TROOP / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 9 at 10:31 PM

MONROE, N.C. -- An Airman from Monroe based in Japan is still fighting for his life after a bad car accident last month left him in a coma.

Bryce Powers, 20, is a 2010 graduate of Piedmont High School who was injured during an October 13 wreck in Misawa, Japan. 

An ammunition trooper, Powers lost control of the car he was driving and hit a cement pole around 2 p.m. while driving a small Suzuki Cappuccino.  A female passenger with Powers was also injured.

Hours later parents Cathy and Jim Powers woke up to a nerving phone call from the Air Force.  Cathy was on the next flight overseas and has been by Bryce's side ever since the news.  Jim, an Air Force Veteran himself, has yet to see his son in person after the wreck.

“Their seatbelts saved their lives,” Cathy said on Friday from Okinawa, Japan.

Jim Powers couldn't be more proud of his 20 year old son, Bryce. He followed in his father’s footsteps as an Airman in the U.S Air Force stationed in Japan for the past year.
 
 "He was always call on Saturday and always talk to me cause we had something related, he was doing the same job I did," said Jim Powers.
 
But the last call Jim and his wife Cathy got wasn't from Bryce it was from his lieutenant.
 
"At 7:00 am is when we got the call, he was in an accident, and we had to get over there to Japan as fast as possible," said Powers.

Still in a coma, Powers is scheduled to fly in a C-135 plane from Japan to Hawaii early Saturday morning to get more medical attention and undergo more surgery.  The plane carrying him had trouble after departing from Misawa, so Bryce and Cathy have been stuck and waiting in Okinawa for the last few days.

The other woman in the wreck, a trooper as well, came out of a coma last month and is recovering well, Cathy said.

Friends and family members have set up a Facebook group as well as a Facebook page to provide updates on Powers' progress.  The page already has 4,000 likes.

In one post on Friday morning, Powers' mom wrote, "We are so thankful to be heading out to Hawaii, and to be back on U.S. soil. There were no changes with Bryce medically today. He is resting comfortably."

Powers was in the Junior ROTC program at Piedmont HS and was named to the ROTC commander two years ago.

Bryce woke up from his coma for about two-and-a-half hours on October 24.

“I asked him if he could hear me,” his mom said.  “Ever since that day he has not woken up again.  His eyes are just staring out.”

Doctors have told her that Bryce's brain is like jello now, but Air Force officials have told her they still believe he can recover.

“I cry a lot, even today.  There’s nothing I can do except fight for him.”  “I love him so much.”

Bryce's sister, 16-year-old Madi, is a student at South Piedmont Community College.  Ironically, she wants to be a neurologist.

"Her brother needs her," Cathy Powers quipped.  "She wants to be here (with Bryce), but she can't miss school."

The family has set up a website to help raise money to send both Madi and Jim over to Hawaii to visit Bryce, who wanted to join the Air Force ever since he was five years old.

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