While conducting a foot patrol in Kajaki, Afghanistan on June 5, 2012, Cpl Nathan Jakubisin stepped on an IED. As a result of the blast, he lost his right leg and obtained an open compound fracture to his left leg. Other injuries include multiple fractures to his hand and wrist, partially amputated fifth digit, chemical burns, lung trauma, PTSD, and mTBI.
He arrived at Walter Reed Naval hospital on June 10, 2012. It was not until two weeks after his arrival that he woke up from a drug induced coma. Over the past two and a half years, he has undergone many surgeries and rigorous therapy sessions.
Cpl Jakubisin joined Musicorps, a band of wounded service members at Walter Reed hospital. As a band member he has learned to play with his prosthetic and finds that music is beneficial to his overall rehabilitation. By asking for a drum set, he and his wife hope that he can continue his therapeutic hobby once Nathan has medically separated from the USMC and is able to move home.
He is currently enrolled in online classes to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Security. He and his wife welcomed their first child in January 2014. The family is originally from Cambridge, OH but is excited to move into their newly built wheelchair accessible home in NC.
Hope’s MSW intern, Paula Valles out of the NC office on Camp Lejeune found an article that specifically highlights how the use of drums are used as part of music interventions and has provided a generous synopsis below:
Bensimon, Amir and Wolf’s (2012) article discusses the benefits of using music as a therapeutic intervention to cope with PTSD symptoms. Studies have shown that traumatic events and music are both learned and absorbed in the brain through sensory meditation. Bensimon et al.’s (2012) research demonstrates how music might serve as an inviting and unintimidating alternative to explore traumatic memories. Music therapy can therefore, be an alternative form of shock/exposure therapy or “talk therapy” such that service members are not forced to logically and explicitly revisit painful memories directly in an uncomfortable situation. Music therapy allows military personnel the ability to express themselves and confront emotional difficulties through art therapy on their own terms and with their own creativity. The terms of the study included soldiers ages 20-23 with PTSD and placed them in a music group to play the drums for a 16 week period; after 10 weeks with the interventions the group expressed feeling a “reduction of symptoms” (Bensimon et al., 2012). In addition, the participants felt a sense of “belongingness, closeness, togetherness and sharing”; they were able to relate to and connect with one another again without explicitly sharing wartime experiences (Bensimon et al., 2012). Finally, the study revealed an overall improvement in well-being and sense of self. Music, such as the drumming interventions, facilitated an outlet for anger, rage, solace and promoted self-control for service members.
A Warrior’s Wish® received support from Theodora Yoga and the local Columbus, OH Guitar Center to grant Nathan’s Wish.