DVIDS – News – The Fort Hood SRU Aquatics Program gives Sgt. 1st Class Cheryl Mancill a new lease on life

ARLINGTON, Va. – The phrase “off” usually describes someone who is hopeless. But for the sergeant. 1st Class Cheryl Mancill, stepping into the deep end of the Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) Pool in Texas was a moment of pure magic.

It all started when Mancill arrived at SRU in March 2021 after a motorcycle accident broke both legs from the hips down in July 2020. She had to use a wheelchair or walker to get around, and she had limited choices for activities.

She decided to try water sports, but it didn’t go well at first. She went to see a physical therapist who specialized in water sports, but the therapist saw many other people and the treatment always involved going into shallow water. It put too much weight on Mancill’s legs, and she hated it.

So her nurse case manager suggested she try the aquatic program at Fort Hood SRU. She did, but as soon as she stepped foot in the pool, she began to wonder about the decision, because once again she was in the shallow end. That’s when Corina Fleeman, who works in physiotherapy services at the SRU, stepped in to help Mancill.

“She said, ‘wait until you get to the drop end, the deep end,'” Mancill said. “And I got to the drop point where you can’t feel the bottom, and then she said keep walking.”

It changed everything for Mancill.

“It was like I was walking on the moon,” she said. “There was no impact. I could move through the water in a way that I couldn’t move otherwise. It was a difference between night and day. My range of motion in the “Water is so much better in water than out of water. It was like gravity had no bearing.”

When recovering from a traumatic injury, the last thing you want is a single program. And that’s why SRU staff make sure the aquatics program is tailored to each individual, Fleeman said.

“Even those who are afraid of pain — because that’s really what keeps them from doing things — those people are definitely helped by having access to a program that eliminates most of the pain,” Fleeman said. “Weightlessness is almost as good as being in space. You float and you get water resistance, but it’s something that easily adjusts by repositioning the body.”

The program uses many types of specialized equipment, such as belts that help participants float, hand buoys to provide resistance to upper body strength work, or ankle weights to help those on the ground. who have neurological issues and who do not receive strong lower body nerve feedback. Bowl.

“It’s just a good first way to realize that you’re not useless and that your body isn’t completely against you,” Fleeman said.

Mancill can’t say enough about Fleeman and the SRU staff.

“They are amazing,” she said. “We all have something that needs [fixing]so we are all treated accordingly [at the SRU]. It’s not just, ‘hey, you’re just another soldier.’ And I like it. If I don’t know what I need, they try to figure it out.”

Since Mancill joined the aquatics program, her confidence has skyrocketed and there is no limit to what she will try today. She went from being able to swim one lap in the pool to two laps. Since then, she has taken up yoga. And she even started her own art business and sold commissioned paintings – abstract works of art that are explosions of color and movement that have already captured the attention of many people.

Without the SRU aquatics program and staff, Mancill thinks life would be very different for her.

“I would still be in my wheelchair,” she said. “It helped a lot, not only with the pool, but also with getting back to yoga and confidence in all kinds of things.”

Today, Mancill is preparing for life in retirement and focusing more on his works. She is currently undergoing the Medical Review Board process and expects to officially retire at some point this year. After that, who knows what life will bring – but she’s sure it will involve a lot of art.

The Army Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to wounded, ill and injured soldiers in the Army. Visit our website at https://arcp.army.mil







Date taken: 02.10.2022
Date posted: 02.10.2022 16:50
Story ID: 414453
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