The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine is dedicated to serving wounded service members involved in military activity at home or abroad. Our patients are recovering from wounds to their limbs, head and face, large-area burns and compartment syndrome. Many of these patients cannot be treated with conventional treatments, or want to regain better function than these treatments offer.
Some of our patient profiles below represent the inspiration for why the US Armed Forces supports the AFIRM and for why AFIRM researchers do what they do. The AFIRM is working to develop improved treatments that can result in better outcomes for these wounded soldiers and others like them.
Army SFC Jeffrey Mittman
Army SFC Jeffrey Mittman was deployed in Iraq in July 2005, when an IED projectile came through the window of his Humvee and ejected him from the vehicle. SFC Mittman sustained massive tissue injuries to his face and right arm. Among these was the loss of his nose, upper lip and hard palate, and his upper teeth, making eating and breathing unassisted a difficulty. The blast also left him without his sight.
SFC Mittman has been treated by the finest plastic surgeons in the nation, undergoing more than two dozen surgeries over the last four years, including bone grafts to re-build his palate and support a prosthetic nose. Much of his face has been reconstructed well enough to allow him to function in his daily living tasks, but he still struggles with movement of his face. Our hope is to use regenerative medicine to build more natural facial structures and to help patients like SFC Mittman have better control over their facial muscles so they can better integrate back into daily life in society.