What they are saying about us

At 45 years old I was admitted into the hospital for chest pains. I came out with a stent for in my L.A.D. and I had a 99% blockage. I also have Type 2 diabetes, Leyden Factor Five, a stroke under my belt, nodules in my lungs, spinal issues in the upper and lower spine, fibroid tumors in my uterus (which they won’t remove because of all the other symptoms) and osteoarthritis. At 47 years old I will enter pain management to help with the symptoms because this is all they are going to do from now on. Agent Orange gave me a death sentence. This is how it affected me. Through the COVVHA I have been blessed with a family who not only understand the issues of unknown illnesses and misdiagnosed diseases but also encourage and support me at every step. These wonderful allies have been a light in a world filled with chaos and pain. No one could truly understand what it is like mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually to have doctors look at you like you are just there for meds and/or that you are just making these things up that you are suffering with. The Children of Vietnam Vets have kept me from drowning in my own self-pity and encouraged me daily not to quit living. They have shown me, through their own testimonies, that I am no longer alone in this battle and until you have been alone in a battle there is no concept of the turmoil that is causes within you and your entire world. COVVHA has once again given me hope and for that I am forever grateful.

 

Donna M. (Missy) Iler

Before I found COVVHA, I didn’t have a true understanding of everything my dad, a Vietnam Vet who is wheelchair bound from nerve disease caused by Agent Orange illness, went through while in that country. I have met so many great people online and seen so many pictures that I have a newfound respect for all vets. And since I too am suffering from a similar illness, presumably second-generation AO illness, I don’t feel alone. It’s a great avenue to gain awareness and education and to share all of this with our friends and loved ones. Thank you COVVHA!

 

Wendi Lichwiarz

COVVHA has been a lifeline to me! I felt very alone in the world and especially within my own family. I have many illnesses that should follow hereditary lines, but do not. It was so comforting to find others that had similar issues and that I wasn’t crazy or being a hypochondriac.

 

Rachel

This was in the beginning of my journey. Because nobody in my family had issues, it took me on a search and found my COVVHA family. I needed answers and found a lot of them with COVVHA. I found we have so many similarities … it was almost scary that I found out I wasn’t alone. I want to thank the founders of thi8s group for allowing me to share my story and find so many that I have ailments in common with. I thank you form the bottom of my heart. I was born with one kidney, and it malformed, double in size, and sitting in the wrong spot. I have spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, bone spurs, and osteoarthritis. I’m 45. My father was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam.

Angel

Hello. My father was a combat medic with the 1st of the 8th Cav. Among the many pieces of shrapnel and two bullets that my father brought home from war, he also brought extensive exposure from AO/dioxin. For many years he had a number of unexplained (so the VA said) health conditions that we now today know admittedly results from exposure. I am the oldest of his three children and I currently have DDD in 8 affected disks, almost no teeth left, frequent respiratory complications, autoimmune /severe arthritis, high blood pressure and constant unexplained elevated white blood cell counts. This does not include health problems (disabling) from violence and the PTSD passed to me, such as a stress ulcer before that age of 27. Now that my father (and hero, even despite the bad parts) has passed I have been one lonely, isolated and often depressed human being with little sense of family or the like. That isolation changed a couple years ago when I found out about COVVHA. I am not alone any longer and I have found that love that for so many years no other person or group could provide. Not only do they offer constant emotional support and help with links to anything that we as first generation AO survivors need, they have done something that I thought was going to be impossible for me; they gave me the courage to not take my own life and I learn a little more each day about how to turn this nightmare into a story that allows me and others to be something that has felt almost unobtainable. We now have the support we need to realize the value of our lives and that yes, we too are human beings. There is not enough praise that I can say for the brave young ladies who started and hold this miracle of a special group together and continue to move it forward. Agent Orange may kill, but there is something to help fight back and I am thankful to no end. Peace. Love. Compassion. Support. That’s my COVVHA.

Brian

My name is Tyronne, I’m just shy of 44 and the eldest out of four (2 brothers & a sister) of an Australian Vietnam Vet. I grew up in an army household & thought it was normal for my dad to act strange. I had never heard much about PTSD and A.O. until I was 20. The more I found out, the more confused I became myself.

I was diagnosed with profound deafness as a four-year-old, scoliosis of the spine as a teenager, secondary PTSD in my 20s, and in recent times Graves Disease, which resulted in a total Thyroidectomy. This was all too much to be coincidence.

I was put into contact with this organization, COVVHA, through my youngest brother. He thought I could benefit by talking to others going through their own battles. Event though I’m not as vocal as other members, it does bring comfort if I helped someone out with a specific problem.

I’m a dad to five, the horse has bolted for me I am terrified that A.O. might have an effect on my kids. It’s an issue that worries my 70-year-old dad who has admitted that in recent times too.

Thank you for reading this.

Tyrone