Help Me Help My Soldier

As many of you know my husband, CW3 TJ Norman, is an officer/pilot in the Army. Over his 18+ year military career he has endured several injuries but his most recent injury has dramatically affected his quality of life. He has severe nerve damage at his right brachial plexus (“bus station” of nerves that connect the neck and shoulder/arm) that causes excruciating pain. The damage is so severe that his right arm/hand have atrophied and he lives with constant shooting/burning pain from the right side of his head and down his arm. After 17 doctors, several neck injections and multiple medications his current pain specialist has determined that a neuro stimulator implant is our next option. This implant will essentially re-route the pain signal from his brain and hopefully relieve him. This is our last hope.

TJ has been off of active duty orders since the governments sequester and is now in the reserves. This means he no longer has military medical insurance. He could receive treatment at the VA at no cost but his injury is not yet “approved”. His previous injuries are covered (back, knee and feet) but we have been waiting almost 2 years for them to approve his neck/shoulder injury. 2 YEARS! It frustrates me to watch him suffer and to think of all of the other soldiers who are waiting/suffering simply because of a clogged system. Fortunately he is still able to work and has a civilian job with health benefits. Just like most insurance plans there are costs to the patient. (Side note, I truly don’t know how he goes to work every day in this condition. It takes everything he’s got to do it. By the time he gets home he’s completely consumed with pain and spends the rest of the night (including weekends) in bed. It’s a good day for us when he feels well enough just to go to dinner. And he deals with all of this without EVER complaining. NOT ONE TIME. It’s amazing to see his strength, faith and patience persevere.) 

So, this is where you all come in. I have never been one to ask for anything, especially money. My awesome parents raised me to earn and work for what you want/need. But I have come to realize that it sometimes takes a village so I am reaching out to my family and friends. This is very humbling for me as I’m not comfortable asking for help, but I feel it’s the least I can do for my husband after all the sacrifices he’s made for our country. The implant TJ needs is a multiple-surgery procedure to which we have a sizeable deductible and % of cost. His first surgery is scheduled at Moffitt here in Tampa on December 3rd. So I am asking for any donations, words of encouragement and/or prayers to help him/us through this process. Please help me help my soldier get back to a place of living without pain. His quality of life would drastically change and we would be eternally grateful.

I thank you in advance for taking the time to read our story. Feel free to share if you deem fit. There is always great power in numbers.....especially when it comes to prayer. 

Love and God’s Blessings,

Michelle Norman

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Michelle Perry Norman 
Drexel, FL
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