MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Forty-four percent of military men and women who return from combat deployments live with chronic pain.
A local charity is being credited for stepping up to help these American heroes live pain-free.
Pain Free Patriots provides medical grants to military veterans for treatment to help relieve chronic pain.
Scott Adams says he will never forget what happened Jan. 26, 2007.
“It was just like any other day,” he said.
Adams was riding in a Humvee in Iraq, when the driver swerved to miss a pothole.
“In doing so we hit another pothole, bouncing the rear of the vehicle around,” Adams said. “And the tire, I was sitting over the fuel tank. We hit two anti-tank mines laced with white phosphorous and the vehicle blew up into the air about six foot.
“It was like the movies where everything was slow motion.”
Adams was dazed, he couldn’t move. He also didn’t realize he was covered in diesel fuel, until rescuers ran to his aid.
“So as soon as they opened that door all that oxygen came in and I lit up like a candle,” Adams said. “And I immediately came out of my daze, I fell out of the vehicle and just took off running and screaming.”
Adams was burned over 90 percent of his body.
“I fractured my C5, shattered both shoulders, broke my back, ended up with nerve damage into my legs,” he said.
Adams says the pain was unbearable.
Treatments at the VA helped but it was Pain Free Patriots that moved his life forward and out of pain.
“If we can do the hardest cases, and as long as we can do it, we are going to do it,” said Doug Huseby.
Huseby, founder of Becker Furniture World, started Pain Free Patriots.
His five mobile clinics travel to church parking lots and shopping malls, and with more than a quarter million dollars of equipment inside, offer muscle and nerve therapy as well as spinal balancing.
“So we’re bringing all the different health care professionals together and really working as a team to solve this problem,” said Chris Barber of Pain Free Patriots, “which is helping veterans get out of chronic pain.”
Adams says it is a not a quick fix.
It takes time to figure out what treatment works best to relieve the pain, but with time he says it helps.
“I have gone from not being able to walk from my bed to the bathroom to being able to play golf,” he said.
The cost of treatment is paid for through grants provided by Pain Free Patriots and its partners. If you would like to help, click here.