Walter Reed Army Medical Center opened its new amputee center.
The facility combines office and counseling space with workout facilities, data gathering, high-tech simulators, and even a family lounge with a full kitchen. It is designed to bring together all the hospitals elements of advanced amputee care, but much of it also will benefit other patients, such as those suffering from traumatic brain injuries or post-traumatic stress disorder.
This center has been long overdue. There were plenty of mornings in Physical Therapy I had to wait for someone to get off a treadmill, weight lifting machine, or even just a “table” to do sit-ups on. One day while I was working out, my sister accompanied me. After a while of me working out on the elliptical, she leaned close to me and quietly said “There are over 20 soldiers in here all missing at least one leg!” Some days that place was so jammed packed, I would just turn around and go to the gym, or go directly to occupational therapy. Toward the end of my stay it wasn’t quite that packed, presumably from moving a few over to Bethesda, MD, down to Texas, and giving the long drawn-out medical board process a much needed overhaul.
It’s nice to see Army National Guard Spc. Marco Robledo is up and walking around on his own now. When I left a month ago he was still confined to a motorized wheelchair most of the time. I used to go see him when he was a new patient on Ward 57 and try to give him any advice I could. A few months later, he and his family were living in Fischer House III with us.
It’s nice to see they moved the shooting simulation range. They used to have it in an old storage room built into the parking garage outside the hospital. I used to go there quite a bit to relearn how to shoot left handed.
All in all, I think this is a much needed, much welcomed addition to Walter Reed’s Amputee Care Facilities.