A Letter from "Momma Lee" - A Veteran's Story of Healing with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Therapy of the Lowcountry is proud to be a designated HBOT treatment facility for the recipients of America's Mighty Warriors Program - Helping Heroes Heal Program.  We support Debbie "Momma" Lee and her organization in their valiant efforts to bring healing to our military veterans with the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.  We have witnessed, first-hand, the benefits of HBOT on military veterans to whom we have been privileged to administer treatment.     

America's Mighty Warriors was founded by Debbie Lee in memory of her son, Marc Alan Lee, the first U.S. Navy Seal to be killed in action in 2006 while serving in Iraq. 

Read "a veteran's story" below and Debbie Lee's plea on behalf of our military veterans in desparate need of HBOT.  

America’s Mighty Warriors has taken the lead as a military charity to provide Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatments for our Veterans who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress or Traumatic Brain Injury. We have been funding this therapy for the past 7 years and have seen the amazing healing that takes place, the difference it has made for the Veterans and their families and the lives that were literally saved from suicide. We have had almost 200 Veterans who have experienced the healing effects of HBOT.

Here is just one of those Veteran's story:

"I was introduced to Ms. Debbie Lee (Momma Lee now) about four years ago by a mutual friend. We talked on the phone for a little bit about my Marine Corps Career and the issues I was having as far as sleep, medication, and VA treatments I have done for Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). At the time I was guarded with any of the information about myself because I didn’t know who I could trust. I was always told that “if I share my issues, I was weak minded, “because of that I never wanted to seek treatment. The Marine Corps does a great job of training people on how to kill but not a great job dealing with the experiences that came with war. Talking with Momma Lee, I felt that I wanted to see what her foundation was all about.

After that conversation, her big event for her son Marc Lee's birthday bash was coming up and it was down the street from where I worked. I thought I would stop in and say Hi and see how the foundation is run and the type of people that were around. I stopped into the event but was too nervous to introduce myself to Debbie. I don’t know if it was because her son paid the ultimate sacrifice and I felt that my issues were less important then what she had to go through. I just left and went home, which was a stupid thing to do on my part knowing what I know now and how caring she is.

About six months or so later, I was in a bad place in my head. Debbie called out of the blue to check in on me because she said that I was weighing on her heart that day. What no one knows is that before she called, I was planning my death because I couldn’t live with the physical and mental pain anymore. I had a plan to kill myself that night in front of my work so I would be found in the morning not really thinking of the impact it would have left. We talked for a little over an hour about life, God, and trauma and family. That was the day that I figured out that I needed help and she offered me a life changing treatment. She said, “let me send you to the Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy (HBOT)”. Finally, I was in a place where I knew I needed help because I obviously couldn’t do it on my own anymore.

When I started the HBOT, I was on about 42 pills a day and had no idea on what I was getting into with this treatment. I was lucky enough to go to the one here in Phoenix, so I could still provide for my family and go get treatments. The first treatment of forty was probably the most anxiety I had going into it because I had enough information to get me by, but I didn’t know what I was going actually go to be doing. After the first session, I was relaxed and ready to just get home. After the tenth treatment, I had a full night of sleep for the first time in I don’t even know how long, and I didn’t have to take a pill to fall asleep. My wife started noticing that I wasn’t as moody or on edge, so I knew it was starting to work for me. After the fortieth session in the HBOT, I was down to only taking the pills I need to take to repair my heart and kidneys. Although, I still need to take a pill for my “mood”, I only take one instead of three a day. By far the HBOT was the best treatment I have been through that actually works on healing the brain form the trauma sustained in combat.

It took fourteen years for me to feel like a “normal” person again, without feeling that I was weak for getting treatment. I feel that it takes a strong person to ask for help and essentially go through with the treatment. I am truly grateful for America’s Mighty Warriors Foundation and Momma Lee for the love and support through this journey of healing. Debbie Lee is more than a friend to me she has become family. I owe her a great deal to her for how she saved me that night. I look to her when I need guidance and I will always be there for her. I am in awe on how she inspires the veteran community to reach out for help. The veteran community would be better off if there were more people like Debbie “momma” Lee who bring awareness, a treatment that works and most of all her love." Travis Blow

AMW has advocated for HBOT to be standard of care for our brave warriors who struggle with the effects of combat and have sacrificed their health physically and emotionally defending our freedoms. It is our responsibility as a nation that when they return home we honor, support and restore them, to as close as we can, to who they were before they deployed.

HBOT is considered off label and as such is not covered by the VA or Insurance. They have based their decision on research that was flawed and biased. We have had phone calls with two of the VA SEC and have been told there isn’t enough research to prove it works. Two years ago, we added SPECT scans of the brain to our program before and after the 40 HBOT dives to have pictures of the brain that show the healing that takes place in the brain. We have the proof that it does work.

We have worked closely with Hyperbaric Doctors and clinics across the US who are also advocating for our Veterans. Our Veterans need to know they are not alone in their struggles.

We are excited to announce that we are working with Rep Andy Biggs of AZ and Sen Kevin Cramer of SD to introduce the PTSD/TBI Treatment Act. The House Resolution Bill is 4370 and the Senate Bill is 2504.

We need your help in getting Members of Congress to be a co-sponsor on the bills so we can get it to the floor for a vote.

Our Veterans were willing to give their lives for you, just as my son did. Now they need us to stand up in the line of fire for them. Many of them are struggling with suicidal thoughts, they have tried numerous other therapies that are temporary and just masking the symptoms. I’ve heard story after story and worked with Veterans who go to the VA and are sent home with gallon size baggies filled with different prescriptions drugs that are all to be taken at the same time. Two-thirds of those medications list side effects that “may cause suicidal tendencies,” and we wonder why our suicide rate is so high?

AMW has had almost 200 Veterans go through our Helping Heroes Heal Program and experienced their health restored to them and their lives changed. These therapies are costly and we need your financial support as well. Please make a donation today at americasmightywarriors.org and help us continue to save lives from suicide.

We also need you to call Congress and advocate for our brave warriors who have paid the price for our freedoms. Please share this with everyone in your sphere of influence so we can build an Army to get our Veterans the help they deserve.

Live your life worthy of their sacrifice!

Debbie Lee