JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Danielle Encela says that you would never know by looking at him that her husband, Craig, a former infantryman with the U.S. Army, had sustained a serious brain injury in a pre-deployment training accident in 2012. He's been through physical therapy, he's regained basic motor skills, and he can drive. But being comfortable around other people is a challenge; he doesn't want people to know he was "broken."
Danielle says that Craig's goals sound simple: to get outside more; to go to the grocery store without anxiety; to be more accomplished and active when Danielle can't be by his side. She acknowledges that this type of injury can change the dynamic of a relationship; it can be difficult to transition from wife to caregiver.
They discovered Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) at a Veterans Day parade not long after his accident and recently enrolled in the Independence Program (IP). IP pairs injured veterans who rely on their families or caregivers because of moderate-to-severe brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or other neurological conditions with a specialized case manager to develop a personalized plan to restore meaningful levels of activity and purpose into their daily lives. IP is a partnership between WWP, the warrior, and his or her family or caregiver, and is uniquely structured to adapt to their ever-changing needs. For many, this is an opportunity to participate in the types of daily tasks and activities that others may take for granted.
For Craig, this innovative program means building a plan and setting goals that help him improve his social skills and increase his independence from Danielle. For Danielle, the IP caregiver respite events are a unique opportunity to spend time with other caregivers who understand her experience and remind her that she's not alone.
"Craig was the one to encourage me to go to the Independence Program caregiver wellness event, and hearing from others in the same situation was mentally and emotionally relaxing," she says. "These people understand; they know the frustrations without needing the explanation. You don't feel lost in the world anymore. I feel more confident in my role as a caregiver and spouse now."
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP's purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
SOURCE Wounded Warrior Project