Veterans get state-of-the-art treatment

The Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas provides patients with state-of-the-art amputee care, helping them to return to their highest physical, psychological and emotional selves.


Fearless, dauntless, bold -- all words that could describe the women and men who are treated and work at the Center for the Intrepid at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.

Through a team of various physicians, the center provides patients with state-of-the-art amputee care, helping them to return to their highest physical, psychological, and emotional selves.

Here's the story.


The most severely wounded servicewomen and -men are brought to the Center for the Intrepid for rehabilitation.

[ Sirens wail ] First Lieutenant John Arroyo was hit in his throat and shoulder during a shooting spree by a fellow serviceman at Fort Hood on April 2, 2014.

Everybody that saw me knew that they had witnessed a miracle.

They knew that the man that they had -- were treating should have been dead.

He was told he would never be able to talk again or use his arm, but he proved everyone wrong.


My recovery has been just nothing but miraculous, and since that time, being at the Center for the Intrepid is nothing more than miraculous also.


The Center for the Intrepid is an outpatient rehabilitation center which opened in January of 2007.

♪♪ It was donated by the generous 600,000 Americans, and they donated money to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Lots of things going on in the building on any given day.

So, besides our main mission of rehabilitation of our most severely wounded service members, one of our other missions is research.

♪♪ This is our Military Performance Lab, that we have done in the last four years over $40 million of research.

In this lab, patient movement is analyzed using 34 motion-capture cameras installed around the room.

♪♪ And down the hall, a virtual-reality rehabilitation program so advanced, there are only three in the world.

This is the CAREN system, and it's a computer-assisted rehabilitation environment.

It's a 300-degree dome.

So, short of a door, they're pretty much enclosed inside this virtual environment.

So, you see that the treadmill is tipping there, and a patient who has a right-leg amputation -- or, as they say, above-the-knee amputation -- he's learning to walk, and then he's also learning to deal with the adjustments of the ground changing underneath him.


As part of their rehabilitation, many patients will need to be fitted with one or more prosthetics, an area that's had tremendous advancements in the last few years.

We do all of our work here.

We do virtually all of our fabrication here in-house.

A couple of things that have really made advancements -- It's all microprocessor controlled, so it's all Bluetooth enabled.

We can use laptops, and there are apps, also.

Users can actually program themselves, do some of their own adjustments now.

For someone who has severe ankle pain or has lost function in their ankle, they don't have push-off, this gives artificial push-off.

Even though it looks the simplest, it's one of the primary developments here in the last five years.

This gives the function back.

Some of the new technologies that we've been using, in addition to new prosthetics, is a way of actually enhancing the way that people walk around.

One of those technologies is a Segway.

When someone is using a prosthetic, it takes a lot of energy to walk long distances.

Segway -- They can stand, be at eye level, and talk with us instead of being talked down to in a wheelchair.

But it frees a patient up, getting them out of their wheelchairs quicker and longer and making their quality of life much better.

Another innovation is a recent adaptation to a standing regular Segway.

It's called an Ally Chair, placed on a very complicated seat platform.

With this, Noel is able to drive his Segway just with body weight.

We do the best we can in terms of getting somebody's function back to where they want to be.

All those medics and surgeons and leaders, they all made the right decisions, and they put me in the hands of world-renowned physicians in the number-one facility.

And because of that, I have a quality of life today.

During its first year of operation alone, more than 28,000 patients visited the Center for the Intrepid.