Senior Airman Tre Porfirio was shot three times in the back at close range by an insurgent on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Karl Porfirio met his son stateside at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where his condition was critical and dire. His pancreas was riddled by enemy bullets, destroying most of its ability to produce insulin, and potentially turning him into an instant, full-blown diabetic.
It was an experimental surgery called Islet Cell transplant that would provide the hope for Tre to recover to a new normal, a new life. The doctors had removed the insulin-producing islet cells from what was left of his pancreas and transplanted them into his liver, which has taken over the function of producing the insulin. It’s the first time the procedure has been used on a pancreas damaged by injury rather than having deteriorated from diabetes.
The struggle that Tre Porfirio endured and the outcome that would change everything is told by his Gold Star Dad, Karl Porfirio – Author of “My Daddy’s Heart is Purple” in memory of his son and dedicated to his grandson. This Special Episode ‘To Die For Freedom’ on The Voice of a Nation is dedicated to all the young men and women who have fought and sacrificed so much, in the glory of God, for the liberty of America.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. – Ronald Reagan 40th president.