Oklahoma City clinic treating veterans needs funds to operate and help save lives

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OKLAHOMA CITY - For months an experimental treatment in our state has helped veterans with PTSD.

The treatment is called Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy; patients go in a pressurized sealed chamber and breathe in pure oxygen.

The Patriot’s Clinic on southwest 23rd and Harvey said they could treat 26 vets per day, but the non-profits that help operate the Patriot's Clinic are running out money.

If the clinic closes, it could affect a lot of people in need.

Veteran Chris Gregg says he can feel the difference after treatments.

Gregg, who is also a volunteer with the Patriot's Clinic, is on his 40th Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy treatment.

Gregg said, "We're feeding 100% oxygen, which would be about five times more oxygen that you're getting through our system.”

Before this type of therapy, Gregg says his life felt unbearable. He has been hospitalized five times for trying to commit suicide.

Gregg said, "I have suffered for about 14 years with depression and PTSD, migraines. My life was about down to 4 hours a day, that's all I was functional.”

Karen Stark with The Hugs Project said, "We don't want to shut the clinic because that's going to set everything back. We need the public's help in raising funds.”

Airgas has supplied oxygen for the treatments since October, but just like any business, they need to get paid.

Oklahoma now has a law to reimburse treatment costs for returning troops and veterans, but that account is empty.

Stark said, "There was $3-million attached to it from a surplus fund that we had here in Oklahoma. When the tornado struck, those surplus funds dried up.”

For Gregg and Stark, they're hoping for generous donors to keep the clinic running.  They say the donations could ultimately help save lives.

Stark said, "Someone's going to lose their dad, their son or their daughter. We have a lot of vets in crisis right now and they deserve better.”

To help donate to keep the clinic running visit www.TheHugsProject.com or send a donation to The Hugs Project at PO BOX 30236, Midwest City, OK 73110

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