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Goals and Achievements

Goals

  • Climb Seven Points

 

Achievement List

Since our first Warrior Challenge in 2010, several additional Warrior Challenges and inspirational events for Combat Wounded and injured veterans have taken place.

2010

  • Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge founded

    Carol Martin and CAPT David Olson establish the CWVC and begin the work of forming a partnership with the University of South Florida (USF) to improve upon our amputee veteran’s prosthetics and orthotics performance through annual Challenges.

  • 12­day Mountaineering Course ­ Alaska Range

    Prosthetics, Cardio­Pulmonary, and Psychological Trauma Research
    Nine Combat Wounded amputees and injured veterans, including support, conducted the first mountaineering training Challenge to evaluate the performance of lower limb and hand prostheses in demanding arctic conditions during climbing, camping, traveling, avalanche and first aid/rescue training, and expeditionary exercises. This initial mountaineering course formed the specialized training set for future CWVC remote wilderness and climbing expeditions to continue prosthetics and cardio­pulmonary research.

  • Visit to Walter Reed Medical Hospital

    Combat Wounded and injured amputees inspire other in­patient amputees
    In autumn, several of the CWVC team flew to Washington, D.C. to present to Mr. Steve Springer, Nurse Care Manager, Amputee Ward at Walter Reed, with the American Flag that was carried on the mountain during our training on behalf of all Combat Wounded and injured veterans serving as an inspiration for all those amputees still undergoing their rehabilitation. The CWVC team met with many of the amputees and clinicians and provided those service members with a huge dose of confidence and inspiration to continue their fight to overcome their challenges.

2011

  • 6­-day Annual Mountaineering Course ­ Alaska Range

    Prosthetics, Cardio­Pulmonary, and Psychological Trauma Research
    Prior to undertaking the Denali Challenge research expedition, the eight­man team completed rigorous mountaineering training on Alaska’s Pica Glacier in the Alaska Range in June. Their training included roped team movement on glaciers, winter camping, self­arresting, avalanche and crevasse rescues and other skills necessary for successful high­altitude mountaineering on Denali scheduled for the following week. Prosthetic and cardio­pulmonary research and evaluation was conducted in preparation for the Denali summit attempt.

  • Denali Challenge – ­ Alaskan Explorers Club Flag Expedition

    Flag #61 Taking Lung Transplant Physiology and Leg Prosthesis Research to Denali
    On June 24, 2011, lung transplant physiology and prosthetic function and componentry was tested at high altitude for the first time as an eight­man team of Combat Wounded and injured and research staff embarked on a summit attempt of the highest peak in North America, Alaska’s Mt. McKinley (a.k.a. Denali). The team tested and collected data associated with mechanical and non­mechanical qualities of their lower­leg (below­the­knee) prosthesis to assist clinical providers to further improve the performance characteristics and functionality. Physiological data collected on the double­lung transplant patient (Navy SEAL) and several control climbers included: Heart rate, arterial and venous oxygen saturation, lung spirometry, severity of dyspnea (analogic score), symptoms and signs of acute mountain sickness and environmental parameters including elevation, barometric pressure, temperature and humidity. These findings added to the very limited scientific literature examining the response of transplanted lungs to intense physiologic stress. The link to the entire research publication: http://www.explorers.org/index.php/expeditions/into_the_field/flag_reports/category/year_2011

  • First Annual Inspire Reunion, Tarpon Springs, Florida

    Combat Wounded and Injured amputees inspire other in­patient amputees at James A. Haley VA Hospital
    The Denali expedition team and their spouses conduct inspirational visits and make presentation to Combat Wounded and injured patients at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Tampa.

  • Visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.

    Combat Wounded and Injured amputees inspire other in­patient amputees
    In autumn, several of the CWVC team flew to Bethesda to present to Mr. Steve Springer, Nurse Care Manager, Amputee Ward at NMMC, with the Kilimanjaro Research Expedition Flag that was carried on Denali on behalf of all Combat Wounded and injured veterans to serve as an inspiration to all those amputees still undergoing their rehabilitation. Mr. Springer prominently mounted the expedition flag in the corridor of the hospital as a reminder to the other amputee servicemen that they, too, can overcome their challenges. The CWVC team met with many of the amputees and clinicians and provided those service members with a huge dose of confidence and inspiration to continue their fight to overcome their amputations.

2012

  • 6­-day Annual Mountaineering Course ­ Alaska Range.

    Prosthetics, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Psychological Trauma Research
    Prior to undertaking the Kilimanjaro Challenge research expedition, an eight­man team of Combat Wounded and injured, along with their medical research staff, completed rigorous mountaineering training on Alaska’s Pica Glacier in the Alaska Range. Their training included roped team movement on glaciers, winter camping, self­arresting, avalanche and crevasse rescues and other skills necessary for successful high­altitude mountaineering on Kilimanjaro scheduled for the following January (2013). Prosthetic, TBI and cardio­pulmonary research and evaluation was conducted in preparation for the Kilimanjaro summit attempt. SFC Michael Rodriguez prepared to conduct the first ever field research
    at high altitude on TBI patients using himself as the patient.

  • 7­-Day Pack Rafting Research Expedition­ Alaska

    Traumatic Brain Injury, Psychological Trauma and Prosthetics evaluation
    This expedition was primarily conducted to evaluate the efficacy of pack rafting as an effective adventure­based therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Trauma (PTSD) patients. Navy Chief Holly Crabtree, a TBI patient released from James A. Haley Veterans Hospital just two weeks prior to the expedition, had just completed an arduous two­year recovery from a sniper’s bullet that penetrated her brain. Paralyzed on her entire right side, Chief Crabtree joined in with other Combat Wounded, a researcher, and a nurse for the 7­day evaluation in the Alaska wilderness. It was the first time Chief Crabtree had connected with her old self since nearly dying on the Iraqi battlefield.

  • SCUBA Challenge:  Key West, Florida

    Underwater research on aquatic prosthetics
    Five wounded Army Special Forces soldiers and members of the youth group Scubanauts helped Mote Marine Laboratory break its single­day record for replanting coral fragments. The wounded veterans and their young counterparts moved and replanted 600 staghorn corals on Summerland Key. The corals were reared in a nursery off Big Pine Key and taken to a host site nearby. During the corals transplant project, the wounded veterans tested new prosthetic devices that allow amputees to better use fins and to better accommodate swimming and diving.

    The veterans teamed up with the Scubanauts and competed in an underwater race off Fleming Key in Key West. The divers were dropped off behind Fleming Key, and used compasses to race back to the island. The partnership between Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge and Scubanauts is part of a cross-mentorship program to teach youth that people with physical challenges can excel in diving, climbing and in their occupations.

  • Visit to James A. Haley Veterans Administration

    CWVC team makes inspirational appearance and visits other Combat Wounded veterans
    Throughout the year, CWVC has made several visits to the James A. Haley hospital to visit with other in­patients to provide inspiration and hope to those suffering by describing their own challenges and personal accomplishments as amputees, TBI and Post Traumatic Stress patients. Navy Chief Holly Crabtree, along with other members of the recent Challenges delivered inspiring presentations to hospital staff and families of other in­patient Combat Wounded and injured patients.

2013

  • Kilimanjaro Challenge Research Expedition­ Tanzania, Africa, Explorers Club Flag Expedition #93

    The Impact of High Altitude Mountaineering on Lower Limb Amputees, Post­Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury Patients
    On January 21, a group of 14 Combat Wounded and injured military veterans, prosthetists and their support staff embarked on a courageous and inspirational prosthetics and Traumatic Brain Injury research expedition while summiting the highest mountain on the African Continent, Mount Kilimanjaro. Their objective: to find medical solutions to further improve the science impacting the advancement of their prosthetics, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and psychological trauma (PTSD) treatments. The Explorers Club awarded CWVC the privilege of carrying EC Flag #93 to further the cause of
    exploration and field science.

  • Visit to Kilimanjaro, Africa Orphanage ­ Treasures of Africa

    CWVC makes a visit to AIDS orphans and abandoned children in Moshi, Tanzania
    The CWVC Kilimanjaro Challenge Team visited with the children of Treasures of Africa prior to their trek of Mt. Kilimanjaro to give them a simple message that they, too, can overcome anything. The veterans were entertained by the children and, hopefully, passed onto the children hope for a better life ahead. CWVC, in partnership with St. Petersburg College will sponsor two TOA children to attend SPC with the hopes of attaining a degree in Orthotics and Prosthetics.

  • Grand Canyon Challenge Research Expedition­ Grand Canyon, Arizona

    The Effects of Long Duration High-­Impact Backpacking in Desert Conditions on Lower Limb Amputees and TBI Patients
    On June 19, a group of 10 Combat Wounded and injured military veterans and their support/research staff embarked on the first recorded backpacking expedition by lower limb amputees to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, according to the National Park Service. Their objective was to study each amputee’s reaction to the environmental stresses that extreme heat in the Grand Canyon has on their residual limbs.
    The J.E. Hanger College of Orthotics and Prosthetics, St. Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, Florida, partnered with the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge to provide clinical support for amputee backpackers during their expedition. In addition to the clinical support Certified Prosthetist and Program Director Arlene Gillis provided, the school arranged for former O&P graduate student Cameron Lehrer to join the team of Combat Wounded Veterans to document his prosthetics case study. His case study followed each amputee’s reaction to the environmental stresses of the Grand Canyon.

  • Annual Mountaineering Training­ Alaska

    Dynamic Ankle­/Foot Evaluation of a Service Member with Complete Nerve Injury to Right Upper and Lower Extremity
    Traumatic Brain Injury: The purpose of this case study was to observe how the temperature surrounding the subject affected her pain levels and functionality. The subject was a female, three years post cerebral­vascular accident (CVA) and TBI, resulting in hemiparesis, severe drop foot and mild cognitive impairments.
    Prosthetics: The effects of an elevated core body temperature have been previously studied and linked to premature muscle fatigue. The purpose of this study was to monitor core body temperature changes in unilateral amputees and able­bodied participants during physically demanding tasks in the Alaskan Range.

  • SCUBA Challenge­ – Key West, Florida

    Underwater research on aquatic prosthetics
    In July, a team of prosthetists from St. Petersburg College traveled with CWVC to the Florida Keys where they worked with SCUBAnauts International, a local group offering underwater research and exploration opportunities to young divers, on a coral restoration project. The primary purpose of the underwater expedition for St. Petersburg College was to conduct research on underwater prosthetics and evaluate how amputees move on and below the waterline.

    There is very limited research on amputees swimming or on underwater prosthetics. St. Petersburg College created a baseline of amputees swimming with and without their prosthetic legs. Prosthetists instructed the amputees to swim 50 meters in a pool and monitored their blood pressure and heart rate before and after the swim. They were also videotaped underwater in the coronal, sagittal and transverse planes so that the research team could gain an idea about how energy efficient they are swimming with and without their legs.

    The amputees were observed and filmed while scuba diving in both a pool and in the ocean, as well as while wearing different styles of fins. Oceanic’s Warrior Program provided both single and split fins for the study.
    SPC hopes this case study will enhance the development of underwater prosthetics by providing a solid baseline so that manufacturers can begin to develop prototypes for different feet and knees and focus on alignment and suspension.

    Underwater prosthesis would also be advantageous for therapy purposes in addition to its practical benefits. If manufacturers can fabricate “water” legs and obtain insurance to cover them, physical therapists [could use them] at pools and have new amputees do their first steps in water.

2014

2015


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