SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A United States Air Force major general says the career of a 20-year-old airman who lost his legs in a reportedly botched gallbladder surgery is uncertain, FOX40 Sacramento reports.
Colton Read remains in intensive care at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento after a doctor performing laproscopic surgery accidentally severed the aortic artery that delivers blood to the lower portion of the body.
The accidental cut required the amputation of both Read's legs.
After he awoke from surgery, Read reportedly passed a note along to his family members with the letters "AF??" written. His family said Read was asking if he could continue to serve in the Air Force.
Major General Bradley Heithold answered questions on behalf of the United States Air Force in a press conference held on Travis Air Force Base Thursday afternoon. When asked by FOX40's Rowena Shaddox if Read would be allowed to carry out the career he's held since the age of 17, Heithold replied, "I've been told...that's all Colton wants to do."
But Heithold added Read's career in the military is still up in the air. Whether Read will be allowed to continue in the Air Force will depend on his recovery from a double-amputation.
"I'm hesitant to commit to you that Colton will be in the United States Air Force," Heithold said. "I'm sorry, I don't have a better answer than that."
Meanwhile, Read's grandfather, Sam DeBrow told CBS11TV.com that Read has been in and out of surgeries and when he wakes he seems to understantd the mishap that cost him his legs.
"Sometimes he kind of knows. Sometimes he doesn't. You hate to bring it up once, much less multiple times", DeBrow said emotionally.