Fort Bragg, N.C. –
After a class on Fort Bragg in January of 2021, Spc. Patricia Schjoth, a wheeled vehicle mechanic, crossed the street to go back to her shop and continue working. She was hit by a car and had a broken ankle, leg, and shoulder plus severe head trauma. “I don’t even remember getting hit by a car,” said the 22-year-old from Michigan.
“I had head surgery. They removed my skull on the left side because of the swelling inside,” said Schjoth. She had to learn basic things all over again, starting with speech.
“At first my Nana took a video of me telling my sister that I loved her, and I couldn’t even say it. I had to learn how to.”
She forgot little things like how to write in cursive and how to speak German. All things that have come back to her, but it was a process.
After spending time in a VA Rehab Hospital in Minnesota, Schjoth was transferred to the Soldier Recovery Unit at Fort Bragg. She marveled at the adaptive reconditioning programs that are helping her with every step of her recovery.
“We have a great band program at Fort Bragg SRU. At first, I was playing piano here then I heard a guy playing guitar and I wanted to re-learn that.” The music came back to her. She played guitar as a teenager and those memories and processes are coming out through the band program.
The work in adaptive processes she says truly makes a difference and she is eager to try it all. Schjoth even participated in the Army Adaptive Sports Camp at Fort Bragg March 28th - April 6th.
“My memory comes back in random ways. The day we did running on the track I had a breakthrough. The most I’ve ran after my injury was only half a mile but at Army Adaptive Sports Camp with coaching and medics helping me, I took my leg brace off and succeeded! I may not need that brace anymore,” said Schjoth who ran a mile and participated in shotput and power lifting.
She’s been told repeatedly that she has a very positive attitude to which she attributes her survival to.
“I tell people I think that’s why I survived, I just want to get stronger and stay in the Army.” Her 87-year-old great grandfather served in the Army, and she feels she is carrying on in his footsteps and very much wants to keep serving.
“I definitely want to so bad. Most people are surprised after all that’s happened, but they are encouraging to me, and I will show that I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
Her farm life upbringing in Michigan is a testament to her determination and work ethic. She hopes other Soldiers who may face a crisis like she did will see her as an example of never giving up.
“Try to do stuff even if you think it’s hard. Have a good attitude. If people say you can’t do something, prove them wrong and just do it!”