TAMPA, Fla., June 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The agony showed on Andrew's face as he raised his body up. He pulled with more effort, and with some assistance, rose nearly a foot off the padded table, triumphant.
Andrew Larocca has been working out at Stay In Step, a Tampa spinal cord injury recovery center, for several weeks. His injuries, though, are not to his spine. Andrew, an Army veteran, suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a motorcycle crash seven years ago. His injury restricts movement and hinders his vocal patterns. Andrew relies on family for daily care.
His involvement with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) and its Independence Program has opened avenues of therapy not typically covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Art and music therapies helped Andrew find his voice. Independence Program also makes visits to Stay In Step possible.
"Stay In Step challenges Andrew," said Dave Truman, Andrew's father. "He looks forward to coming here."
Independence Program works directly with warriors like Andrew and their families to create individual plans. Plans outline goals to live a purposeful future while connecting each warrior with resources and activities in their community.
Part of Andrew's plan is working with innovative equipment at Stay In Step to improve his range of motion and increase motor skills on the left side of his body.
"Now, after seven years, his body is starting to engage again," Dave said, if this opportunity would have existed when Andrew was first injured.
"I think he would be walking now," Dave said. "In all honesty, we're seeing results after just a couple weeks."
Army veteran and wounded warrior Romy Camargo founded Stay In Step two years ago to fill a gap in the Tampa area. Romy nearly died during an ambush in Afghanistan. A bullet pierced his neck, paralyzing him. Romy and his wife had to travel more than two hours out of town twice a week for him to use similar equipment. Now, he brings those therapy options to Tampa Bay veterans.
"We also do a different approach – a more dynamic way – a total body workout," Romy said.
That full workout brings joy to warriors in recovery like Andrew.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) connects, serves, and empowers wounded warriors. Read more at http://newsroom.woundedwarriorproject.org/about-us.
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SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project