WASHINGTON – Former POW Jessica Lynch (search), making progress after surgeries for injuries sustained in Iraq, is doing well emotionally but still cannot remember her capture and may never do so, one of her doctors said Thursday.
Dr. Greg Argyros, assistant chief of the Department of Medicine at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (search), where Lynch is being treated, said evaluations of Lynch so far suggest there is only a slim chance she may remember her ordeal.
"The likelihood is very low that she will remember any of the events from the time of the attack until the time she woke up in the Iraqi hospital" after being rescued, he said in an interview on NBC's Today show.
What happened in the March 23 incident, in which 11 troops were killed and Pfc. Lynch and five others were captured, has been unclear. A convoy of her 507th Maintenance Unit was reported to have taken a wrong turn and been ambushed by Saddam Fedayeen (search) militia in southern Iraq. Lynch was rescued by special operations forces April 1, but there have been varying accounts of the rescue.
Though authorities may never get Lynch's firsthand account, Lynch's father, Greg Lynch Sr., said in a statement the family is "not worried about when she can tell her story."
"She'll tell it when she's ready," he said. "We just want her to get better."
Doctors have completed surgeries for the 20-year-old Army clerk, who suffered various fractures and broken bones, and her rehabilitation therapy this week was increased to twice daily, according to a statement released by the hospital.
Emotionally, she is doing very well, said Argyros, head of the team handling Lynch's care.
"Her attitude is terrific, " he said. "She really is pushing to move forward ... She is a resilient young woman."
Argyros said Lynch's case was not one of amnesia, which he defined as forgetting something you once knew. Rather, Lynch simply has no memory of the ambush.
"Anytime anybody goes through a traumatic event of any kind, there is the risk that they may have a period that they don't remember what happened" during that event, Argyros said.
There have been varying accounts of Lynch's rescue. U.S. officials said last month that she was freed in a daring commando raid April 1 at the hospital in the southern town of Nasiriyah, with special forces shooting their way in and spiriting her away.
Since then, several news organizations reported differing versions of the rescue, citing doctors who said they had tried earlier to take Lynch to American forces but were fired on as they approached.
Those reports said that her Iraqi captors had left the hospital during the last days of March and that hospital medical staff took Lynch in an ambulance to a U.S. checkpoint but couldn't get close enough to hand her over.
A couple of days later, U.S. troops burst into the hospital, doctors said, adding that they could simply have walked in with no problem because there were no Iraqi guards left.
Military officials have said that Lynch's last memory of the attack is a rocket-propelled grenade hitting the vehicle she was riding in.
Argyros said she had fractures in her upper right arm and in several ribs, along with injuries to her back, right foot and upper shoulder blade. She also suffered breaks in two portions of her left leg, part of her right leg and lacerations of her scalp, he said.
The hospital said that when not in therapy, Lynch "has been taking time to read and write e-mail, enjoy letters and cards from well-wishers, listen to music and watch television."
Earlier Thursday, her brother, Army Spec. Greg Lynch told ABC's Good Morning America that he still wears an missing-in-action bracelet engraved "Pfc. Jessica D. Lynch, MIA, March 23, 2003, Iraq."
"I'll wear it til my wrist falls off," he said, standing in a hangar at Ft. Brag, N.C., where he is an Apache helicopter ammunition technician.