NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Many disabled Veterans can’t do the things they love anymore, but a local business and charity are working to change that. We had a chance to find out how they’re using virtual reality to help Veterans heal.
Army Veteran Amber Lay was injured 20 years ago in a training accident. She lives in constant pain. “I was young when I got disabled, I was in the prime of my life,” say Lay.
Amber can no longer do the things she loved, and missed out on many things she always wanted to try. “If there was danger, I’m running towards it, that’s the type of person I am, and I missed that part of myself,” added Lay.
Veterans charity Patriot Outreach partnered with OmniLife VR to give Amber that part of herself back using immersive virtual reality. “The Veterans have done so much for us, it’s time for us to do something for them,” said Jim Hampton, OmniLife VR Director of Strategic Services. “I wanted to give her something she lost,” said Deanna Monaco, Patriot Outreach Ambassador, and Amber Lay’s longtime friend.
The Brave Mind Extreme Vets program provides auditory and visual stimulation; your brain fills in the blanks, and your imagination kicks in. The therapeutic experience lets Veterans do anything, like playing fetch with a dog on a mountain, skydiving, riding on a roller coaster, or playing with balloons in a cave.
The technology helped Amber become herself again. “It helped me let me go of some of the person I used to be,” said Lay. It also gave Amber hope. For her; the very best is yet to come. “If a Veteran is struggling, they should give this a chance, it might be life changing for them as well,” said Lay.
The technology also helps with physical therapy, and hand-eye coordination. It’s being used to help those with dementia, and helps educate people. – VIDEO LINK