A Hero's Story: SSG Thomas H. Turns a Big Corner with HHN

December 12, 2014

A Hero's Story: SSG Thomas H. Turns a Big Corner with HHN

After hearing so many news stories of the terrorist attacks on 9/11/01 and of soldiers needing help, Thomas H. - a third-generation military man - re-enlisted in the Army reserves in 2004. He returned home from Iraq safely one year later.

In 2007, he felt that familiar tug at his heart once again. This time he as moved to the National Guard where he was promoted to Staff Sergeant. His homecoming this time, however, was not quite as sweet as the last.

While stationed overseas, Thomas' convoy was hit by an IED. Miles from the next base, his team had no choice but to fight back and continue on. Thankfully, there were no fatalities from the blast. Thomas, however, was left with lasting injuries.

A Hero's Hard Homecoming

Back at home, Thomas H. had trouble sleeping, suffered from flashbacks and nightmares, and dealt with extreme pain coursing through his body night and day. Through it all, he didn't say anything to anyone.

Finally, weeks after returning home and suffering continuously both mentally and physically, he confided in his wife. His wife Nancy told us, "I knew something was wrong. He was turning to alcohol to numb the pain."

Thomas began a downward spiral into depression. They went to the VA for help, but were met with only an endless supply of pills. "They diagnosed him with severe PTSD and prescribed him antipsychotics, high blood pressure pills, and even narcotics," Nancy said.

Seeking Answers to Help Her Husband

Unconvinced that her husband had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Nancy started looking for other answers. When she found information on TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), she said it "made the most sense."

When Nancy saw her husband wasn't functioning - was constantly out of it and constantly sleeping - and also was becoming extremely sensitive to light, she made the decision to flush her husband's drugs down the toilet. If they were to ever have a normal life again, it was time to take a different direction.

After a CAT scan, Thomas was referred to see a neurologist. But before they met with the neurologist, the Hall's heard of Healing Heroes Network through the grapevine. They contacted Healing Heroes Network and were approved for the program.

Thomas underwent Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments, and after only two weeks, he began to turn a corner. He began thinking more clearly and wasn't confused anymore. His pain subsided.

His three children see an enthusiasm in their father that hasn't been there since his last deployment. His wife Nancy summed it up by telling us, "He seems happier. It's been a long time since I've heard that in him. I know he's getting the help he needs."

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