GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) — Special medical treatment used to speed the healing process will be more available to our state’s veterans who suffer from traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Community Foundation of NC East on Tuesday launched a campaign to provide free hyperbaric oxygen treatment to veterans.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or H-BOT, is a well-established treatment that uses exposure to pure oxygen to aid healing of things like carbon monoxide poisoning and other types of injuries and tissue damage. Now, with the passage of Senate Bill 442, the funds will be used to provide H-BOT treatment to veterans in North Carolina.
The bill directs funds through the Community Foundation of NC East to provide treatment for North Carolina veterans with PTSD or brain damage. Melissa Spain is the CEO of the organization. She said they were eager to embrace this program because North Carolina has one of the largest veteran populations in the country.
“We are currently living with a very sad reality that up to 22 American veteran suicides are occurring daily. This in itself is the profound reason why we have worked so diligently to bring us to this long awaited opportunity,” said the ‘Spain.
State Senator Don Davis and Congressman Greg Murphy spoke about efforts to pass the bill.
“As a doctor, I have found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be a very helpful treatment for some people with PTSD and TBI when nothing else has helped them and they have nowhere to go. “Murphy said.
“There is an important lesson that we learned a long time ago. We have to say ‘thank you’ first and second, help provide the resources they need to cope and truly come home,” Davis said.
Davis said the funding will allow the foundation to get veterans to apply to try the therapy.
“This is really designed to help us continue to collect the data to understand the impact of H-BOT therapy,” he said.
Gregg Green is a former army chaplain. He said H-BOT therapy changed his life after he returned from deployment with a traumatic brain injury and PTSD.
“Being able to sleep and engage family and friends, again, to learn how to really live again, I mean, that’s pretty important, to get back to a quality of life where there’s a sense of hope,” said Green.
The Community Foundation of NC East wants people to know if a family member or friend has PTSD or a traumatic brain injury, contact them immediately to seek this treatment. You can find more information about this program here.