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Underwater therapy helps two local disabled veterans
Two local veterans, bound to their wheelchairs, never thought they'd be able to dive again.
Underwater therapy is making those with disabilities feel independent again.
For a couple of disabled veterans, being able to rise from their wheelchairs is like a dream come true. That dream is now a reality for Tammy and Thomas.
Tammy Landeen is an Army veteran. She's been paralyzed for the last seven years.
"You go from active duty to handicap, it's huge."
Thomas Bailey was in the Navy. He broke his neck in a diving accident seven years ago.
"I can't use my legs or anything. Basically I'm paralyzed from the chest down."
Organizations like Dive Heart and Achilles Divers help people with disabilities using water therapy.
It's the perfect medicine for those who are wheelchair bound and have a passion for diving.
It's something Fed Barona knows first hand as a former paraplegic, who once lost all feeling from his chest down.\
He's recovered now, and gets to help others.
"Being able to recover and being blessed to have what I've got back, was a huge inspiration to be able to give those opportunities to others."
"For me, the best part is seeing the smiles on their faces at the end."
And those smiles make all the hours spent preparing for days like this, worth it.
"To have somebody that cares and wants us to experience all the normal things that able-bodied people can experience it just means the world to me."
"To be able to get back in the water and do what I once used to do, there's nothing that compares."
This diving experience is one both Tammy and Thomas say they'll never forget.