Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
Navy Veteran Excited to Exercise Again
In 1994, an industrial accident resulted in a serious leg injury for Navy Veteran Jame Cromwell. Over time, the Muskogee resident developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a chronic pain condition most often affecting one of the limbs.
While he can walk, the pain in his body limits the amount of physical activity that he can do.
“I have good days, but then I have bad days,” said Cromwell, who was medically discharged from the Navy in 2005 due to his injury.
Since 2007, Cromwell has received outpatient rehabilitation treatment at the Jack C. Montgmery VA Medical Center for his leg pain. During recent treatment, JCMVAMC rehab staff had Cromwell try a hand-cranked therapeutic tricycle, which was donated to the hospital by AMBUCS, Inc.
Cromwell enjoyed using the tricycle for physical therapy, so Deborah Morrow, JCMVAMC Chronic Pain Program Coordinator, asked him if he would be interested in having one for his home.
“Even on a good day, his ability to walk is limited to a certain distance and you can only go so far in a wheelchair,” said Morrow. “With a bike, you can have some freedom.”
Cromwell, who completed two deployments to the Persian Gulf during his Navy career, immediately said yes to the offer.
“I was really excited,” he said. “I’ll be able to get outside more and do some exercise, which is a big deal for me.”
Thanks to the generosity of AMBUCS, a non-profit organization which strives to create mobility and independence for people with disabilities, Cromwell got his wish on Nov. 14 when the organization provided him with a free hand-cranked therapeutic tricycle.
Cromwell said he is looking forwarding to going on bike rides with his wife and children.
“My wife has been wanting me to get out and exercise, because she goes walking on a bike trail with the kids and I haven’t had the opportunity to get out and do that in a long time,” he said. “Now I have this bike and I can do that and it’s great. I feel excited. Now, we’re going to go get my wife a bike.”
In the past year, AMBUCS has donated several therapeutic tricycles to Veterans. Kent Clingenpeel, President of AMBUCS, said the organization simply wants to give back to Veterans such as Cromwell who have served the nation.
“We’re just trying to give back and help our Veterans get out and become mobile and get them back to exercising,” said Clingenpeel. “This hand-cranked bike will allow him to strengthen his upper body so that he can get around better in his wheelchair and on the bike.”