Volunteering to become
a Soldier in the U.
S. Army is a commitment requiring dedication, sacrifice and courage. Additionally, many Soldiers often lead lives of voluntary service to the community in ways other than serving in the militar y.
Spc. Amanda N.
Reynolds is an investigator in the 42nd Military Police Detachment, 16th Military Police Brigade.
In addition to her commitment as a Soldier, Reynolds is a very dedicated and giving person.
She is actively involved in the C. W. Bill Young Department of Defense Marrow Donor Program, a life-sustaining program open to all healthy people between the ages of 18 and 60.
Before Reynolds became
a registered donor
through the state of Oklahoma and the DoD donor program, she had never really considered the option until a neardeath experience made her realize the frailty of life.
Reynolds has been a military policewoman in the U. S. Army for seven years, deploying to Bagdad, twice for her country. She was part of the elite military police Soldiers who are also airborne paratroopers.
In October 2011, Reynolds was scheduled for a night jump, and as fate would have it, unexpectedly
it turned out to
be her last jump.
“I jumped out of the airplane just after 10:30 p.m. and quickly noticed something didn’t feel right,” said Reynolds.
“My chute lost air and I was falling way to fast; it finally caught about 100 feet above the ground. That jolted me, and then, I collided with another paratrooper before slamming into the ground — feet, butt, and then my head bounced.”
The Soldier Reynolds had collided with called out in the darkness asking if she was okay.
She thought she was, but quickly realized she could not lift her head without holding it in her hands. Only then did she realize her combat helmet had gone flying on the initial impact.
“No. I’m not okay,” communicated Reynolds. Reynold’s neck was broken in the landing and she was soon in emergency surgery.
One vertebra had to be completely removed and bone was taken from her hip to repair other damage.
Although it was a series of unfortunate events, there was a silver lining. During the whole hospital process, she learned her bone marrow was unusually healthy and could be used for a bone marrow transplant.
She found a new motivation to recover from her neck surgery — she would donate her bone marrow to help save someone else’s life.
“Her drive to keep going no matter what, is amazing,” said Spc.
Nicki Kempel, also assigned to 42nd MP Co.
Upon receiving confirmation to donate her bone marrow, Reynolds was escorted by Kempel from Fort Bragg, to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington D.C., June 21 to 27. At the hospital, she underwent five days of treatment to stimulate stem cell growth for donation on the fifth day.
“If I can help people out in any way, I am more than willing to, and (donating) is one way it won’t hurt me, because bone marrow re-grows, and blood replenishes itself,” said Rey nolds.
Reynolds received two shots daily, for five day, in the back of her arms to elevate the stem cell count in her blood stream. She had a central line put in to circulate her blood to filter out the stem cells, a process that normally takes six hours. Because she responded so well to the treatments, her blood circulation only took three hours.
“The catheter was placed in my jugular vein using ultrasound which did not hurt being placed in, but tickled when it was later removed,” said Reynolds.
For a process that took only three hours, Reynolds might have made an impact that could last a
lifetime. The harvested stem cells are destined for a 6-year old patient with leukemia.
“If I can help the little boy have a chance at surviving, I will do anything necessar y.”