Simon served as a tank crewmember and cavalry scout in the Army. During training for his first deployment Simon was injured. During his surgery the doctor cut too close to the nerves and scar tissue is compressing the nerves at L5-S1 leaving him with a spinal injury causing paralysis. Being in the wheelchair caused a torn rotator cuff requiring surgery, and he now has to use a power chair. Due to his paralysis he cannot feel if his foot slips off the wheelchair plate, but his DFOB service dog Holly alerts him so the chair doesn’t cause further injury. Holly immediately bonded to Simon, and they are inseparable. Holly has taught herself to wedge behind Simon’s back to provide extra support when he starts getting fidgety on the couch. Her assistance has helped him to decrease the amount of medication he needs, given him freedoms he hasn’t had in years, and provides daily comfort to relieve anxiety and depression. Simon has gotten back into some of his hobbies including woodworking, and he built a custom bed for Holly.
Simon tells us, “Holly helps me every day with being a more independent person. She can pick things up, sense when I’m in pain and support me to keep moving, and ask for help if I need it. Since I’ve had Holly, I’ve been able to live a better life because I can be more self-reliant, and I’m no longer worried about falling out of my chair because she never leaves my side as my constant support.” Our supporters didn’t just help Simon get a service dog, they gave him his independence and he is forever grateful!