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PTSD Affects First Responders, Too. Here’s An Example

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On June 12th, 2016, Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people in the gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida. Now, one of the first responders tasked with cleaning up the aftermath of the attack has been granted disability by the Orlando pension board for his post-traumatic stress disorder. I’m Kyle Kittleson. This is your MedCircle Weekly News.

Using a semi-automatic rifle and semi-automatic pistol, Omar Mateen killed 49 people, and wounded another 53, inside Pulse nightclub in Orlando. After a three-hour standoff, Omar Mateen was shot and killed by police.

Officer Gerry Realin was sent in with the hazardous materials team to remove the bodies. He spent hours among the carnage.

According to Realin’s wife, five different doctors have concluded her husband is "permanently and totally disabled" as a result of his work that day.

After going on leave and supporting his family on interim disability and paid time off, the police department said that he had reached his maximum benefit, and stopped paying him. They also offered him a desk job, which he did not take.

Now, in a court ruling, the Orlando pension board granted Realin disability for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Realin was not present the day in court, but his wife commented after the ruling, explaining, “We're going to continue on trying to heal with my husband and figure out what the next chapter of our life is going to look like. Right now, I've been so entrenched in this that we haven't been able to really immerse properly in the therapy process."

PTSD is a complex and often misunderstood disorder. To start your education, watch any number of original series on the subject here on MedCircle.

Source: Orlando Weekly


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