Family photo on discharge day

Carey and Shane’s WHY Story

Six months before Shane was set to retire from the Navy after 26 years of service as an Independent Duty Corpsman (IDC), our lives took an abrupt change on April 6, 2018 when he was in a major motorcycle accident on the way home from work on I-15 in San Diego. It has taken several years, but Shane is on a very solid path to getting himself back on track physically and mentally.

The recovery process from complex physical injuries and a brain injury is long and filled with many ups and downs. We had some dark days where we felt lost in the vast bureaucracy of the Veteran’s Administration (VA) and the overall healthcare system. On the worst days it felt like the system was working against us.

The stress didn’t only come from the recovery itself—it often came from trying to jump through all of the administrative hoops. The systems are overly complex with lots of circular logic. An immense amount of time was spent trying to manage all the authorizations and issues involved with the healthcare.

It was confusing, frustrating and time-consuming. But worst of all, it was counter productive. None of the time spent on those issues did anything to help Shane and it took time away from the family. We powered through, but it took a heavy toll on all of us and seemed to make the recovery process take longer.

Thankfully, we have a much easier and clearer path now which has given us the time and energy to follow our passion to create CorpsStrength. We hope to use our experience to make it easier for other patients in their families going through this process. We will be working to build and grow CorpsStrength with help from other veterans and families.

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