by Eagle Magazine, photos courtesy of 208Cares
In 2012, it looked like Bradley Wells’ life was over, but now an Eagle, Idaho charity has given him a fresh start. 208 Cares, a local charity that provides housing for disabled veterans, has built a new home for Wells in the Warrior Park Subdivision. The three bedroom, two bath patio home has been specially built to accommodate Wells and his wheelchair. By providing wounded veterans with stable housing that lets them live independently, 208 Cares repays our debt of gratitude to the men and women who risk their lives to protect our freedom.
Bradley Wells served in the United States Air Force for two years and was deployed to Iraq. When he returned, he suffered from PTSD and chronic back pain, as well as kidney issues. He continued to work on base, but he was eventually granted an honorable discharge due to the severity of his medical issues.
After his discharge, Wells’ life began to spiral out of control. The doctors at the VA hospital couldn’t get a handle on his medical issues and instead prescribed him ever-increasing doses of OxyContin. His chronic pain was so intense that he’d run through a three-month prescription in thirty days. Bradley Wells began to ‘doctor shop’ and seek out illegal dealers in an attempt to dampen his pain.
He enrolled in a VA drug rehabilitation program, but he left worse than he entered. He began a cycle of admissions and discharges. His life seemed hopeless. He kept sinking lower and lower into a world of pain and despair.
When it seemed like his life couldn’t get any worse, Bradley Wells became the victim of a hit-and-run driver. He lay in a coma for over a week and awoke to the news that his leg had to be amputated. The surgery wasn’t immediately successful. He would undergo 18 more surgeries on his leg in the next 11 months. He continued to be addicted to pain medication.
However, during this time, Wells experienced a resurgence in his faith. Slowly, he began to reach outside himself and help others. After being discharged from the VA hospital, he helped a fellow veteran with terminal cancer come to terms with his illness. He dedicated himself totally to God and overcame his dependence on pain pills. Today, Bradley Wells is a valuable member of the community. He seeks to help others overcome pain and addiction and reconnect with their faith.
After hearing about Wells’ struggles and eventual triumph, 208 Cares decided to make him the beneficiary of the autumn, 2015 homebuilding project. The charity, formed by a coalition of area business owners, seeks to provide mortgage-free, accessible housing to Idaho veterans in need of a fresh start. By giving our veterans this support, 208 Cares helps them heal, reconnect with their families, and reengage with our community.
More information on the charity can be found online at http://208cares.org/.