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Giving people back their lives!

National Grassroots Movement for HBOT Begins in Texas

National Grassroots Movement for HBOT Begins in Texas

National Grassroots Movement for HBOT Begins in Texas

May 2017

Update - May 31, 2017

The Texas Bill to provide HBOT to our Veterans was signed into law by the Governor on Monday, Memorial Day.

This is only the first (baby) step, since there are no funds provided --- yet.

Earlier in the Month

The Texas Legislature has passed HB-271 in both Houses.  It goes to the Governor next for his signature.   This bill is very similar to the Oklahoma Bill (there is no funding attached), but I believe it is a step in the right direction. Memorial Herman Hospital (in Houston) was actively involved with the lobbying effort and have indicated they are prepared to fund and actively be involved with getting it into action.

It only took 5,000+ emails, over 100 visits to various offices, unnumbered phone calls, and multiple trips to Austin to get this done. - R.Owen Grandfath​er of a 'Restored from TBI' Veteran 

November 2014

As of today 71 out of 254 Counties have approved a Resolution similar to the original one. The population of these Counties totals some 6.4M people (out of a total Texas population of about 26M) with a potential affected Veteran population of 35.8K out of a total Texas population of 125,000 potential affected Veterans (from the Gulf Wars only).

February 2014
Lee County, Texas

Rainey Owen of Lexington, Texas first learned of the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) when his grandson Matt Smothermon, who had returned from Afghanistan with traumatic brain injury after three IED attacks and subsequently receiving a Purple Heart, was featured in an Oklahoma news report on the benefits of HBOT. Oklahoma lawmakers are being asked to make HBOT available to Oklahoma Veterans. In the news feature, Smothermon stated that he returned from Afghanistan as only a shell of his former self and was unable to concentrate in order to return to the legal studies he left behind to serve in Afghanistan. 

At that point, Smothermon signed up for a study at Oklahoma State University on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for people with post-concussion symptoms from mild traumatic brain injury. Oklahoma State was one of a number of sites in the country participating in the National Brain Injury Rescue and Rehabilitation Project (N-BIRR). N-BIRR was organized by the International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation to test the hyperbaric protocol, HBOT 1.5, developed by Dr. Paul Harch (President of the IHMF), Dr. Neubauer, and their colleagues in New Orleans. Through the efforts of William Duncan, Ph.D., Dr. Paul Rock at the Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine was recruited to oversee the HBOT 1.5 study at Oklahoma State University School of Medicine in Tulsa. The study is still ongoing, but with regard to the treatments, Smothermon remains convinced it works and stated, “It’s given me my life back. It really has.” 

After witnessing the difference HBOT made in his grandson’s life and doing his own research, Owen took action. He met with the governor’s staff in Austin, Texas as well as representatives from the Department of Health & Human Services and wrote letters to members of the Armed Services Committee in Congress as well as celebrities and news anchors. 

                 When he did not get a great deal of response and was met with concerns that treatment costs were too high, Owen decided to reach out on a local level. He went to bi-weekly commissioner court meetings near his home in Lee County and was successful in getting unanimous approval of a resolution (see link below) that strongly urges Texas State Government to provide appropriate funding to provide results oriented, evidence based, proven treatment, including Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), for returning Texas Veterans that suffer the residual, after-effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).