Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Family of Army Spc. John Pirinelli, shot in Iraq, is hoping for a miracle.
With one miracle behind them, the family of critically wounded Army Spc. John Pirinelli hopes for a second miracle of recovery at a U.S. military hospital in Germany.
The 23-year-old soldier from the Niagara County hamlet of Bergholz was shot in the back while on patrol in Iraq last Wednesday. After he was stabilized at a field hospital near Tikrit, he was flown to Europe and is just starting to come out of a drug-induced coma.
It took something of a miracle to get two of four family members from the Buffalo area to his bedside on short notice, and now they are making a public appeal for prayer to save the soldier's life.
"When John's doctor called us Sunday to come to Germany, he painted a horribly grim picture, but now it is Tuesday and his surgeon says, "It's miraculous this boy is still alive,' " Rise Pirinelli, the mother of the soldier, said in a telephone interview moments after leaving her son's bedside late Tuesday.
She said she is convinced that prayer has already helped her son - a giant of a man at 6-feet, 6-inches tall and 230 pounds - survive the trip to Germany.
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