• Monroe Airman promoted while recovering from serious crash in Japan

    By: Tenikka Smith


    MONROE, N.C. - It's been nine weeks since Airman Bryce Powers from Monroe was seriously hurt in a car accident in Japan. 

    His mother has been by his side every day of his recovery, and she spoke with Eyewitness News anchor Tenikka Smith via Skype about his progress and the special holiday gift he will receive.

    The airman crashed while off duty in Japan on Oct. 13. Each day, his mother chronicles all the ups, downs and challenges of Bryce's recovery on a Facebook page created in his honor. It has more than 6,000 followers from around the world.

    “He could wake up in two years, he could wake up today. We have no idea,” Cathy Powers said.

    Powers said Bryce's body is making progress in a special 90-day program at the VA Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center in Richmond, Va. He is given medication and put in wheelchairs and special standing devices. It's all designed to keep his muscles strong and coax his brain out of the coma.

    "I think something really great is getting ready to happen," said Powers.

    She also revealed news the family just received that gives them even more hope this holiday season. 

    "Even though he's in a coma, he's still on active duty," Powers said. "He's done what he needed to do, and on Dec. 24 -- Christmas Eve -- he is going to be made a senior airman."

    She added, "I serve a big God. He created him, that's my belief, and I believe he can fix his brain when he's ready. I feel calm. I feel at peace."

    Kamee Mayfield, a fellow munitions officer, was riding with Bryce when the accident happened.  We're told she is doing well, recovering with family in Phoenix.

    If you want to follow Bryce's recovery, you can find a link to his Facebook support page here and here.

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