Veteran Gets Pain Relief From Working on Arts and Crafts Kits

May 09, 2013, 17:24 ET from Help Hospitalized Veterans

WINCHESTER, Calif., May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- He made it out of Vietnam without a scratch, but a recent home improvement project recently nearly cost him his life.

"I don't remember much," David Newberry said about nearly severing his hand while working on his porch.  "I saw a lot of blood and just passed out, but my stepdaughter was there, thank God.  Her 9-1-1 call saved my life."

Following surgery, Newberry learned he was in the Little Rock, Arkansas VA Medical Center.  "I was so thankful I didn't lose my hand, but the injury was severe."  Surgeons had to reattach tendon, which required Newberry to keep his wrist bent at an uncomfortable angle for several months to keep it stabilized while healing.

"It was a very painful, uncomfortable recovery and seemed to take forever.  On my second day in the hospital, a gal stopped in to offer an arts & crafts kit.  Since I couldn't move my right hand, she recommended I try a string art kit.  Well that kit became the first of many kits that I completed during the course of my rehabilitation," said Newberry.

"What I loved about the craft kits was that while working on them, the movement in my hand and wrist didn't hurt as much.  I guess it's because it is an enjoyable experience or it took my mind off my pain.  Over the course of my rehabilitation, I completed several craft kits and with each one I regained more dexterity and improved my fine motor skills."

"I'm nearly through with my rehabilitation now, and of the improvement I've had thus far, working on the craft kits gets 75% of the credit," Newberry said.  "Another positive outcome from craft therapy was working on the craft kits with my children," he beamed.  "It was such a wonderful experience working on them together."

Newberry appreciated the behind-the-scenes source of his craft kits as well.

"I'll always be grateful to the donors who make the kits possible," he said.  "I enjoy filling out the donor cards with my thanks and mailing them back.  Over the years I've received dozens of greeting cards and letters from donors, giving me the opportunity to further thank them for donating to this program.  It makes me feel good to know that I am still appreciated for my service."

Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) is the largest provider of free therapeutic arts & crafts kits for veteran and military medical patients worldwide, having delivered over 28 million kits since its inception in 1971.

Frank Cimorelli

SOURCE Help Hospitalized Veterans