A decade ago Sergeant Jason Morgan was at the cutting edge of the US military, forming part of a tiny elite unit of Special Forces. Then, on a counter-narcotics mission, his world as he knew it came to an end.
His last memory is of HALO-ing – making an elite parachute jump – into the South American jungle. Six weeks later he woke from a coma in a US military hospital, paralysed from the waist down. He was told he would never walk again. Morgan was sure he would. In his quest to regain control of his legs, Morgan returned to the country where he was injured, both in an effort to recover the memories of what had happened, and to undergo pioneering nerve-graft surgery.
But despite very real health improvements, in the years after his injury Morgan’s life crashed and burned. The pain of his injury proved unbearable, his medication mind-numbing, his moods often furious and dark. Eventually his wife left him, and Jason Morgan became a single father confined to a wheelchair with three young boys to raise.
It was during his darkest hour that Morgan first heard about Napal, a service dog trained by Canine Companions for Independence. Napal enabled Jason to rebuild his life, and together, man and dog formed the world’s most incredible bond. With Napal’s unwavering support, Jason went on to win more than a dozen medals in the Paralympic Games and Winter Paralympics, and to roll a full marathon. Man and dog have inspired thousands around the world.
Jason’s memoir telling the story of his friendship with the dog who saved his life will be published by Quercus in the UK and Atria in the US in 2015.