Sunday, April 21, 2019
The White Heart Foundation Visits Joseph Lowrey
The White Heart Foundation visited retired U.S. Army Green Beret Sergeant 1st Class Joseph Lowrey at his home in Ontario, California last week.
The Foundation representatives is committed to serving the needs of severely injured warriors like Lowrey and filmed a day in the life of the Purple Heart recipient originally from Long Beach, California who enlisted in the Army right after his high school graduation.
Ryan Sawtelle, Founder & Executive Director of the White Heart Foundation, explained, "White Heart is focused on having the greatest impact on [wounded] warriors. Our goal is to determine and address each warrior’s most pressing need with the help of your donation — 100% of which goes toward the warrior.
White Heart was created with the donor’s intent in mind. We believe that donor's dollars are best spent working one on one with warriors, rather than treating them as if they were numbers."
While the Foundation cameras zeroed in on Lowrey going about his day in his home, including red light therapy + KAATSU sessions with KAATSU Master Specialist David Tawil, it was clear that the Green Beret was enjoying the spotlight.
"It is such a joy, honor, and inspiration to work with Joe," said Tawil. "We did KAATSU Cycles on his arms, starting at a low SKU and then gradually building up as we asked him to do simple but challenging movements like reaching for the sky with his left hand. Then we did some KAATSU Walking, initially at a controlled pace and then at a faster pace."
Lowrey used KAATSU daily and nightly [before bedtime] after improbably surviving a horrific gunshot wound to his head during a combat tour in Afghanistan.
While serving with the 7th Special Forces Group on July 7th 2014, Lowrey and his fellow soldiers were tasked to enter an area known to be a Taliban stronghold. The injury occurred during Lowrey’s third deployment while manning the gun turret on top of a truck during an intense firefight against Taliban insurgents.
Immediately after Lowrey was hit when PKM machine gun fire (the round pierced his Kevlar helmet and caused a massive traumatic brain injury to his right hemisphere), the medic onboard heroically saved his life by conducting an emergency tracheotomy on the battlefield. Even so, after surgery, his colleagues were told that Lowrey would not survive.
Inexplicably, Lowrey survived the next day as well as the next week and next month. Just after he and his wife Jennifer welcomed their fourth child, Lowrey was airlifted from Afghanistan to Germany's Landstuhl Hospital where he remained in a coma. Despite being given a small chance of survival by doctors, Lowrey was airlifted to the United States where he rehabbed at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, in Palo Alto, California at a rehabilitation hospital, and then at Casa Colina and Centre for Neuro Skills in Southern California.
After years of believing in himself and his caregivers through an excruciatingly painful recovery and rehabilitation, Lowrey emerged well enough to move back in with his family albeit without use of his left side and with some short-term memory losses due to his traumatic brain injury.
"My brothers rescued me from the fight," recalled the former highly competitive ice hockey goalie and self-defined fitness fanatic. "It has been a very long road to recovery, but I want to run again. That is one of my goals."
Together with Tawil, the pair delved into every possible KAATSU protocol covering muscle development, rehabilitation enhancement and basic recovery.
But they also concurrently took a deep dive into nutrition, specifically ketogenic diets, and all kinds of healthy biohacks in an attempt to recover from complete paralysis on his left side. "Due to being sedentary for the first time in my life, I gained a lot of weight and was just eating everything including too many hamburgers," recalled Lowrey. "But then I lost the added weight when I began eating a low-carb diet and sleeping right."
But he also experienced significant muscle mass loss while undergoing physical therapy in several Veterans Administration hospitals and medical clinics for four years.
Lowrey started KAATSU in June 2018. Under Tawil's guidance, Lowrey established a smooth-running protocol where he does KAATSU twice daily in the convenience of his home. He does a morning exercise protocol where he focuses on muscle toning, balance and gait fluidity as well as an evening sleep protocol where he focuses on relaxation and vascular elasticity that enables him to get a solid 8 hours of deep sleep.
"I loved how my legs felt the very first time that I tried KAATSU in the comfort of my living room," recalled Lowrey. "I didn't know how to use the KAATSU equipment at first; it was all new to me, but David was patient and taught me and my caregiver how to apply it during my morning and evening sessions. Now it is just part of my daily routine."
Tawil reiterated, "It is important to teach KAATSU users like Joe to understand how to do KAATSU by himself. Because of Joe's limited strength, uncertain balance and lack of complete mobility, we spend all the time necessary for Joe to feel comfortable and gain the maximum benefits from KAATSU.
Lowrey first started with very low-pressure KAATSU Cycles on both his arms and legs. He learned what the appropriate Base and Optimal pressures are for him - both in the morning where Joe does more vigorous workouts and in the evening where it is all about relaxation and getting ready to reap all the benefits of a good night's sleep."
Over the next 8 weeks, Lowrey started to stand, balance and walk with KAATSU.
"We walk around the house and in his backyard," explains Tawil. "But we also go outside in his complex and tackle walking on grass. All of the different textures and slightly different elevations on the grass and a nearby hill are great challenges and objectives for Joe to achieve during his walking sessions. This sort of KAATSU Walking on a grassy hill - so simple for able-bodies people - are extremely helpful for Joe's improvement.
Joe does KAATSU 2 times per day: the first time at 10 am and then again at 7 pm before going to bed. At night, Joe just does simple KAATSU Cycles at a relatively low pressure. This double daily session has been essential for his rapid improvement. He is up to 2,000 steps a day, but his long-term goal is running a marathon."
For more information on the White Heart Foundation, visit www.whiteheart.org.
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