Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One day at a time. Sara Lease focuses on those words and draws comfort from them, knowing many of her fellow military caregivers do the same.

Sara has learned to be patient over the seven years she has cared for David, who suffered a gunshot wound to his neck while serving in the Army. The brachial nerve in his left arm was severed, leaving him with severe paralysis and constant nerve pain as well as PTSD.

For the last four years Sara has remained at home, managing their household and family while caring for David who needs her assistance to dress and help with his memory. Sara makes the financial decisions, pays the bills, does the driving and all the cooking.

Over time, she has had to learn how to parent with a spouse whose physical abilities are challenged every day, and she practices patience as she struggles to balance motherhood, caregiving and her personal needs.

One of her biggest challenges is boosting David’s morale, especially when he’s in pain. She knows he needs her encouragement to remind him of the things he can do. When Sara sees David interacting with their children, despite his injuries and limitations, she is inspired to be strong.

In her role as an Elizabeth Dole Fellow, Sara wants to make others aware of what military caregivers do and help improve the resources and assistance available to them in their communities and across the nation.

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