Veteran Support to the Community
River Kai's Mama Catherine Wheeler's Email to Soldier Solutions
Good afternoon. My name is Catherine & I am a mama of a little warrior. My son River-Kai is 8 years old & suffers from PTSD (chronic medical trauma & mishandling at school). We had the pleasure of meeting two Veterans/Soldiers raising funds for T.A.D.S.A.W. @ One our local Tractor Supply stores (New Windsor, NY). Shawn & Beau won my son’s heart & vise versa. Through my son’s journey, photos & videos help him understand, heal & except all he endures. We had just met his trauma therapist before meeting these two incredible men. On February 11, 2018 my son “Defied all medical odds” and survived his second life saving surgery in his 8 short years. Meeting these soldiers was like FATE for my son & I. I too have been diagnosed with medical PTSD. Making videos is part of my therapy. I made the video below to help advocate for my son and for our veterans. People think they get/understand PTSD, they do not! People except and try to understand when it comes to our veterans but when it comes to a child, not abused, not sexuality assaulted, not homeless, not neglected, but a child very much loved by his mom (single mother), they simply do not get it. I am a very vigilant advocate that pulls no punches with anyone, not even our local school district. Unfortunately, we all break at one time or another & it wasn't until the day I left the trauma therapist shaking so bad I had to pull over...doing so lead me to meet Shawn & Beau. That day, was the first day I did not fell alone. We shared stories and even on first meeting, I believe in my heart a bond was built. Soldier Solutions is more than what you set it out to be because it helped someone like me. For me it was sanity, like being saved, a breath of fresh air allowing me to breathe again. Even my own family does not understand. Just being able to relate is HUGE! My personal doctor diagnosed me with PTSD almost a year before River-Kai was rushed to the hospital in Feb. 2018. I told him, I wasnt sure why he thought that. He said it was impossible for me to endure all I have with my son, live a normal life, be his advocate, full time caregiver, hold gas masks over his face every time he went under ( to date under general anesthesia since 9 weeks old, about 54 times). I held the gas mask to put him to sleep at least 40 + times. It never got easier, I broke every time I left the O.R. There were times he would look me in the eye & beg me to stop. In my heart, I rather hold it than someone else. Feb. 28, 2018 when my son was discharged from a hospital...when the surgeons had no hope for survival, IT HIT ME LIKE A TON OF BRICKS! I haven't been the same since and someone told me a few weeks ago that River-Kai wasn't the same kid they met 2 years ago. It broke my heart hearing that but how can someone especially a child be the same when they have PTSD, undiagnosed PTSD for about 7 years? Soldiers & Warriors video https://gopro.com/v/qvN19anQbZa0 At the end of the video are links to my son’s story. Finding others with medical PTSD is not easy. It was a blessing in disguise for him to open up to soldiers who understand PTSD, most are clueless.facebook.com/teamriverkai
I spoke with Bart from TADSAW and he gave me a number of a trainer for TADSAW. I am waiting on a call back from her. Shawn & I have been in touch. He asked me to reach out to you with this video I created. He also asked me to reach out to you and ask if there was anyway that you guys can help me raise funds for a service dog for River-Kai. TADSAW responded to the video on FB and loved it. They asked me to send it to Bart but I already did last week after speaking to him. My apologies for the long drawn out message but as I started typing my emotions just flowed out of me. It's needed, so I thank you for your time.