Local couple uses pain to better lives of caregivers for military families
A local resident in San Antonio got a call eight years ago that changed her family forever. Instead of letting it crush her, she and her husband ended up on a mission to make the world of care-giving better than she found it for military families.
Roxana Delgado remembers vividly watching the video of an Improvised Explosive Device, also known as an IED, going off next to the convoy her husband, Victor Medina, was in on his tour in Iraq. He came home with a traumatic brain injury also known as TBI. Suddenly, Delgado was thrust into the roll of a caregiver, and says, ‘I usually say there is no degree that can prepare you to be a caregiver.’
Delgado, at the time, had a full time job, was in school full time, and now found herself learning a maze of getting Victor the care he needed and balancing the emotional toll in took on them. She started by finding a community group and struggled at first to find people dealing with the same scenario. She says, ‘I started blogging as a TBI army wife, and then it just kind of disseminated around the nation. And, so many caregivers started contacting me, and saying I can relate so much to what you're going through.’
Before she knew it, notable military support groups like the Elizabeth Dole foundation and Operation Homefront were asking her to be a caregiver ambassador and lead workshops helping connect other caretakers with community and resources. Perhaps the best part of her and her husband’s hard work? She says, ‘You look back eight years ago, and you're not going to be able to do this and you're not going to be able to do that. Victor went against all odds, and he ended up doing it all.’
Medina not only completed his Master in Rehabilitation Counseling, but he also now joins Delgado as an advocate traveling across the nation.
'There has to be a time when success has to be redefined. And it's very personal for them because we all had great careers that came to a solid end. And, I’m pretty sure I can say we all have tried to find ways to go back. But, it's not realistic. So, that takes redefining success. For me it was going back to school,’ says Medina.
Delgado emphasizes that faith is paramount to her and her husband’s strength and resilience to work through it. She explains, ‘You know looking back now, I say, what did you learn from circumstances? You cannot let those circumstances define who you are but help you redefine where you're are going. And, that's one of the things I try to focus on. How can we use our experience and our story and our journey to help others coming behind us?’
Roxana provided a list of sources with hopes it can help connect you with more community and resources. You can click on some of the following links for more...
- Invictus Games Symposium on Invisible Wounds