On May 5, 2004, Jessica's worst fear came true. A roadside bomb was detonated near the unarmored truck she rode in, along with eight other soldiers and a civilian. The shrapnel from the bomb shot into Jessica's lower back and penetrated her skull into three different lobes of her brain. As blood poured from her shattered skull, Jessica lay unconscious and near death. Helicopters immediately airlifted her to Baghdad, where doctors rushed Jessica to surgery.
She was given only a 2 percent chance of survival.