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Teacher returns to school after life changing events
MARY ESTHER - A lot of teachers went back to work last week. But for one of them, it was the beginning of a new life. She'd left everything behind when her husband was severely wounded in Afghanistan.
Reporter Laura Hussey says, "It was here at Mary Esther Elementary School that Lisa Deslauriers got news that would change her world. Her husband Joe had lost three limbs in an IED explosion. Now, almost two years later, she's come full circle"
This roomful of first-graders has no idea of the journey that's occupied their teacher the last two years.
Lisa Deslauriers says, "It feels so good to be back in the halls, and hear laughter in the halls and to see smiling faces"
She made a vow to Hurlburt Field Tech Sergeant Joe Deslauriers. He swore an oath to his country. Neither knew how harshly their promises would be tested.
Lisa says, "I'll take him any way I can get him. I told him that the day he got, the day he woke up. He said are you scared, and I said I'm not scared, you're here, I have nothing to be scared about"
Lisa was seven months pregnant. Joe had lost his left hand, and both legs above the knee. During their first year at Walter Reed Hospital, the couple welcomed baby Cameron, and Joe started learning to walk again.
Lisa says "You're going to have great days, you're going to have really bad days. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon"
After another year of rehab, Joe is driving, cooking, and determined to walk without canes.
Lisa's been home since July. The principal always said there was a spot for her when she was ready. She's learned patience, she's learned her limits, and she's anxious for her husband to finally come home.
Lisa says "I can't imagine my life without him. And spouses that lose their loved ones, they are more of an inspiration than I will ever be"
Laura Hussey says "In a matter of days, the family will be together again. Joe Deslauriers comes home from Walter Reed Hospital this Saturday."