U.S. Army Veteran Jason Ehrhart and his Caregiver and mother, Pam Estes, share how adaptive sports like sit-skiing help heal traumatic brain injury (TBI). Wounded Warrior Project offers adaptive sports to veterans in order to help heal physical and invisible wounds of war and create a sense of belonging and fun.
The events of 9/11 made Jason Ehrhart angry — so angry that he enlisted in the U.S. Army after high school. In September of 2005, he was sent to Iraq as an infantry mortarman. Three months later, while traveling in Baghdad, his Humvee was blown up by anti-tank mines. Jason was blown out of the top of the vehicle and landed several yards away. Both of his legs were broken, he had third-degree burns covering 60% of his body, and he slipped into a coma that lasted for three months. When he came out of the coma, one of his legs had been amputated and he couldn’t swallow or speak. Jason’s parents, Pam and Mike Estes, became full-time caregivers for their adult son. His wounds and traumatic brain injury (TBI) meant that he could do virtually nothing for himself. The Estes family credits Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) caregiver retreats with helping them begin their own recoveries and the Independence Program (IP) with helping them turn the corner to a more normal life.