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New VA spinal injury center helps vets heal, return to daily life

Veterans in Colorado who are dealing with spinal cord injuries have had to travel out of state for treatment, but not anymore.

The Rocky Mountain regional VA medical center just opened a brand new facility that has many local veterans very thankful. One of those very grateful veterans is former Marine Allen Bodine.

Allen Bodine went for a walk Monday. Not a big deal for most, but for a man who walked seven miles a day as a United States postal carrier most of his life, today was special.

“I had a spinal cord injury, at about C4-C5," said Bodine. It was an abscess, an infection that caused traumatic pressure on his spinal cord, ”I’m basically numb here, CNBC down.”

For Bodine and veterans like him, the VA’s brand new spinal cord injury and disorder center is like a port in a storm, “We’ll take care of you from the time of your injury, or the time of the diagnosis, and move you all the way through the system of care so you receive your primary care as well as your specialty care," said Dr. David Coons SCID Chief.

The new center has a 30 bed in-patient unit, outpatient clinic, two therapy gyms and an aquatic therapy pool.

“Our closest spinal cord injury centers were in Minneapolis and down in Albuquerque," said Dr. Coons.

For former Marine Allen Bodine, it’s pretty simple, ”This place is going to be something I’m going to take advantage of."

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