MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WFRV)-- For few hours a day, a couple times a week, Sergeant Adam Alexander doesn't feel like a patient.
He works in the hospital storage room, delivering supplies as a part of his occupational therapy. It's one of the final steps he's doing before leaving the Minneapolis veterans hospital where he's been for almost 9 months.
"I'm working hard at developing strategies to overcome the deficits," said Sgt. Alexander, a member of the 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion.
Those are deficits caused when Alexander was shot at in while serving in Afghanistan in November of 2011. Shrapnel hit his head, causing a traumatic brain injury.
Since arriving at the hospital last December, Alexander's made big strides, both physically and mentally. When we first met him earlier this year, his scar was more visible, you could actually see he was missing a part of his brain.
But that is hidden now, after Alexander underwent a Cranial plasty in May. Doctors at Bethesda in Maryland put a titanium plate in his skull to cover the defecit.
"I don't have to wear a helmet anymore which is awesome," said Alexander, "it actually helps me cognitively as well, because without the skull there is a lot of atmospheric pressure on my brain which kind of slows my processing speed and other stuff like that so now it's a little better in terms of cognition."
It's been nine months of intensive physical and recreational therapy. He still struggles with cognitive skills, his short term memory, and has had to learn how to do things with just one eye, like driving a car.
"He's been working on different strategies to compensate for both memory loss and some deficits that he has," said Occupational Therapist at the hospital, Nancy Hildreth, "he works really hard, and he's been very engaged in his rehabilitation."
Alexander will continue to do outpatient therapy when he leaves the hospital in a few weeks, and he feels more than ready to go home to Oshkosh to get back to a somewhat normal life, which includes a wedding next month to his fianc Kate Nelson.
"I'm excited to just be regular," said Nelson, who was visiting Alexander at the Hospital, "We can
argue about who has to do the laundry and who has to do the dishes, just a normal life."
Nelson has been with Alexander since the beginning of this challenging journey, the accident happened just months after they began dating.
Adam's brush with death has only made them stronger, and appreciate what they have, more.
"It's been a little stressful but we have a great support network," said Nelson, "it has made us closer, we're like we can go through anything right now."
"I don't have bad days anymore, because every day on this side of the grass is a good day, I'm on borrowed time so to speak," said Sgt. Alexander.
Alexander will leave the hospital on August 24, and after the September wedding he has a couple of part time jobs lined up in Oshkosh, where he and Kate live.