• Program to help brain-injured veterans could come to end


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A five-year pilot program that pays private specialists to treat veterans with traumatic brain injuries is about to end.
    A veteran who spoke with Channel 9's Jeff Deal said he could be forced out of the facility that has helped him walk and talk again. Deal learned that the man might not be the only one forced from the program.
    Barrett Dorn has been living in the facility for the last two-and-a-half years. He has received intensive therapy, and his family said he has made progress, but they are concerned about what will happen if he is force out of the program.
    If you sit down with Dorn the answer to a lot of questions is the same.
    "I can't remember. I can't recall any of that."
    Dorn, a who was a member of the United States Marine Corps, is a patient at Neuro-Restorative in Avalon Park.
    He has received treatment at the facility thanks to a Veterans Administration pilot program that pays private companies specializing in treating brain injuries to help veterans.
    Dorn's injury was the result of a car accident. For others it could be gunshots or explosions that sent them for treatment.
    Dorn's mother describes what happened to her son as "whiplash of the brain."
    "He has long-term memory, but he cannot remember things he did in the last hour, the last week, the last three months," said Carolyn Dorn.
    Despite his progress, the program is set to end at the end of September.
    A bill has been drafted to extend it, but it hasn't gained much traction in Congress.
    The VA may soon begin discharging people like Dorn.
    Where her son will go next is a concern for Dorn's mother, and where they'll go is a concern.
    "If he has to come home to live with us, I will have to quit my job," she said.
    Carolyn Dorn said she believes it would send the wrong message to those who have sacrificed for their county.
    "It has been very difficult," Barrett Dorn said.
    Advocates for veterans believe that not only will the veterans be moved to facilities that may not provide the proper care, they believe it could actually cost more money.
    There are three other veterans in the program at that facility with Dorn, and at least 11 veterans in Florida who could lose treatment of the type Dorn is receiving.

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    Program to help brain-injured veterans could come to end