Updated March 2016
Gavin McDowell is my son in law. Gavin was in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany. He was deployed to Afghanistan several times. Since Gavin has done H.B.O.T., I have noticed he is calmer and he can sit and have a conversation without getting agitated. Prior to H.B.O.T., and after he had come from being in war, he was overly emotional. He needed to constantly feel validated and felt he wasn’t always shown or given love. Their marriage suffered from him always having to have explanations about everything and him being overly sensitive to situations. It was difficult for him to express his feelings without breaking down.
Today, after almost completing 20 H.B.O.T. sessions, he can control his emotions; he does not fall apart all the time. Is a matter of fact, I have not seen him break down since treatments. He is able to communicate his feelings and emotions and expresses himself without anger and deep emotion. I know his work performance on the job has improved and he is much happier. He use to avoid family and didn’t like being around people and today, he interacts with family and friends.
If not for this Veteran’s foundation and the support that has been given, Gavin would still be suffering. There are many other positive attributes I’ve noticed in Gavin and I am filled with joy and much appreciation to this funding. It is truly remarkable what Hyperbaric Oxygen can do and the possibility to treat many veterans that have suffered from being in war.
I have definitely noticed a change in Gavin since he started hyperbaric. He overall seems less
stressed and a happier man. He does not get bothered by small issues as much anymore and is
able to handle stressful situations better. He has been more level headed and communicates
more effectively. He seems also just to enjoy life more and enjoys social situations more. He is
more of an introvert and since hyperbaric I have noticed that he is less stressed in social
settings and is more outgoing. His memory has improved as well. I have also noticed a positive
change in his work ethic. He is more focused at work and strives to better himself professionally.
He seems overall more focused when it comes to work. I definitely believe that hyperbaric has
benefited him and am grateful for the Veteran’s program that allowed him to receive these
treatments. It has impacted him, myself and our relationship in a positive way.
During numerous deployments incorporating both Iraq and Afghanistan, I was involved in multiple IED strikes/blasts. In addition, I was knocked unconscious during various training events, which include multiple jump operations. The tipping point came in 2010, when I was involved with an IED strike in Afghanistan. After the blasts, I knew something wasn’t right, but couldn’t put my finger on it. Within days of the blast, I was knocked unconscious during a fall down a steep canal during a night movement. When I regained consciousness, I felt like I was walking at a 45-degree angle for a two-three-week period, including having significant short term memory loss. After returning from Afghanistan, I notice the memory issues were increasingly getting worse and started to affect my personal life. I became more agitated, withdrawn, and had daily dizziness spells. It was only a matter of time before this caused an increased amount of stress on my marriage and family. With a couple of months returning from Afghanistan, I was stationed in Iowa where my issues continued to get worse. I would routinely be driving or in stores and have no idea where I was or what I was doing. I went through a variety of tests and scans with doctors that were not familiar with TBI or other blast injuries. The test determined certain signs of brain trauma. I was diagnosed with TBI and PTSD in 2011 with a treatment plan that was heavily based on drugs, which I strongly disagreed with. The doctors stated that time would be the best treatment, which was no help to my situation. It has been an extremely long road over the past couple of years, but I have seen improvements. My attention span, irritability, and short term memory still were problematic. I still had issues with memory and focusing. Reading and spelling remained difficult due to not being able to remember the material read, which caused me to read items over and over again. After about halfway through the hyperbaric treatment I started to notice the irritability was going away and could focus for longer periods of time. I also noticed increased energy levels. My co-workers and wife have made multiple comments regarding how I can now hold conversations for longer periods of time without drifting in and out. In addition, I seem to be more relaxed and able to calmly deal with situations that would have previously put me over the edge. I have also noticed a change in my family life as well. I am more involved and have a desire to interact with others to include my family.
Hi my name is Gavin Glenn-McDowell. I currently suffer from TBI and PTSD as a result of
multiple concussions. Over the course of my life I have had 5 concussions, three from playing contact
sports and two from military service. I started playing football at a young age with flag football and little
league full contact. I was pretty big for my age and was known as a “Big Hitter” which meant that I was
always hitting people as hard as possible. During my freshman year I got my first concussion and loss
consciousness on the field. I don’t remember be taken off the field but awoke soon after. I wasn’t
hospitalized but I did see a doctor. My second concussion was during my junior year. I didn’t lose
consciousness but was very dizzy and disoriented after a big hit. I continued to play but was eventually
taken off the field when I couldn’t properly run or remember plays. I took two weeks off but got another
mild concussion on my returning week. I didn’t play my senior year.
In 2007 I joined the Army as an Infantryman. I was assigned to the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment
and was stationed in Vilseck, Germany. Shortly after arriving in Germany I got deployment orders to
Iraq. In 2008, during the battle of Sadr City my Stryker was hit and crippled by an EFP IED. I was knocked
unconscious and didn’t wake up until being evacuated to base. Because of the current combat
conditions I returned to duty the next day. My most recent concussion happened at the end of the
deployment in 2009. I fell off a shipping container and hit my head on the ground. I was wearing a
helmet but still hit my head pretty hard. I was sent home a couple of weeks ahead of my unit to be
evaluated for TBI. In 2010 I exited the Army with no VA benefits or compensation for my injuries.
I currently have multiple symptoms consistent with PTSD and TBIs. I forget things constantly,
where I parked, where my keys are, what day it is, what my address is. I also have trouble balancing my
mood and have a hard time finding motivation for things like working out or difficult tasks.