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ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL REPORT

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Thursday, May 8

Doctors say former POW Lynch has no memory of ambush

By The Huntington (W.Va.) Herald-Dispatch

Although it's unlikely that Pfc. Jessica Lynch will ever remember the ambush that led to her nine-day captivity in an Iraqi hospital, she does not have amnesia, her doctors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center reported Thursday.

Rumors that amnesia caused her to forget what happened on March 23, when her 507th Maintenance Company convoy was attacked, have prompted Lynch to explain to family and friends that she is OK and ``still the same Jessi,'' said a press release from Walter Reed.

"I don't want people to think I can't remember things,'' the 20-year-old Palestine, W.Va., native said in a prepared statement from the hospital. According to her doctors, she does not have amnesia, but simply has no recollection of any events that may have occurred from the start of the ambush until she awoke in an Iraqi hospital.

"Based on military debriefings and mental health evaluations she has undergone, (doctors) believe the probability of her remembering any events during that time period is very low,'' the press release said.

Her recovery is progressing well, the hospital reported.

A medical team meets daily to review Lynch's progress and set both long- and short-term goals for her. She has been making steady progress without any unexpected complications, the hospital's release said.

Physicians have said that her positive attitude has been an asset, and the consistent rate of her recovery has permitted her doctors to have her begin physical and occupational therapy.

This week, she has increased her therapy sessions to twice daily. Occupational therapy helps her with activities of daily living, such as combing her hair, brushing her teeth and other personal hygiene matters. The physical therapy is designed to help her increase her strength and flexibility.

When not in therapy, Lynch has been reading and writing e-mail, enjoying letters and cards from supporters, listening to music and watching television.

She and her family continue to decline interviews in order to focus on her recovery.

"We're not worried about when she can tell her story,'' her father Greg Lynch Sr. said in the release. "She'll tell it when she's ready. We just want her to get better.''