Monday, March 12, 2007

Perspective: For War’s Gravely Injured, Challenge to Find Care

Jarod Behee before he was injured

When Staff Sgt. Jarod Behee was asked to select a paint color for the customized wheelchair that was going to be his future, his young wife seethed. The government, Marissa Behee believed, was giving up on her husband just five months after he took a sniper’s bullet to the head during his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Ms. Behee, a sunny Californian who was just completing a degree in interior design, possessed a keen faith in her husband’s potential to be rehabilitated from a severe brain injury. She refused to accept what she perceived to be the more limited expectations of the Veterans Affairs hospital in Palo Alto, Calif.

“The hospital continually told me that Jarod was not making adequate progress and that the next step was a nursing home,” Ms. Behee said. “I just felt that it was unfair for them to throw in the towel on him. I said, ‘We’re out of here.’ ”

Read the rest at the NY Times