Melissa Wightman says she never could have imagined her husband would fall victim to an improvised explosive device attack.
She said her Marine husband, 21-year-old Cpl. Ryan Wightman, was wounded Saturday while deployed in Afghanistan.
As if that weren't enough of a nightmare for Melissa, she said she's had to battle with AirTran Airways because the company initially refused to refund her for a trip she canceled to be with her wounded husband.
Melissa is now packed up, anxious to see her love one.
"The only thing they could tell me for 24 hours was that he was in serious, critical condition, so it was very, very scary," she said.
Ryan is headed for the intensive care unit in Bethesda, Md., just days after the attack.
"I cried, and you know, to hear him say, 'Hey, baby, I love you,' I mean, that was the first thing he said, and I told him, 'We'll get through this,' and he said, 'I know. I know you'll take care of me.' And everything like that is just kind of hard to hear," Melissa said.
She said it was an upsetting phone call she never could have predicted.
She originally had plans to fly from Jacksonville to Seattle to see a friend, using a ticket her thoughtful husband bought her as a surprise for her birthday. It was a nearly $500 flight she had to cancel, but she said AirTran Airways initially refused to refund her.
"AirTran refuses to cooperate, and I mean, the best they said they could do was give me a voucher within six months to Seattle," Melissa said. "But you know, he could be up there for a year, and I'm not, I'm not leaving him. So that doesn't do me any good."
After Channel 4 contacted AirTran on Friday, it said it had arrange for a full refund for Melissa, saying the company's thoughts and prayers are with her family.
Melissa said she's too distraught to ever fly AirTran again.
"I will never fly through them again, the way I was treated, and I of course haven't told my husband any of this," Melissa said.
Despite the airline troubles, she said she's completely focused on her husband's health, planning to care for him as he fights to pull through.
"He's going to hopefully be able to walk again and heal with time," Melissa said. "It'll be a long road, but that he will, so I'm very thankful for that."
If you would like to donate to the family, a VyStar account has been set up. The account number is 702940595.