Disabled vet makes most of new beginnings - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Disabled vet makes most of new beginnings

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A disabled vet and his wife were given a brand new home in Georgetown thanks to Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes and the Operation Finally Home Charity.

Now Michael and Careylyn Ryan are making the most of two generous gifts: a new home and a new beginning.

Jimmy Jacobs was still building it when we first showed it to you in March. Now it's complete, full of furniture and full of gratitude.

"When you are active duty it's a certain income, disabled and you make a different income. So we were scared. We didn't know we'd make it and having this is such a blessing," said Careylyn Ryan. "The first night we spent here we were both up going 'what is this place?' But after that it's been great and he has adapted very well."

Back in Iraq Army Specialist Michael Ryan sustained a traumatic brain injury during an attack. Now the vet has a 90 percent disability rating according to the VA. He lives with almost constant pain, short term memory issues, PTSD, tremors on one side of his body and he always has the sunglasses even inside because he's now light sensitive.

But when he's not at the VA for therapy and pain injections to the spine, he's here in the garage with his passion, building custom-made fishing rods.

"You're busy. I'm very busy and I try to fill my time with something constructive that's gonna help not to sit and feaster. I want to be a positive, I don't want to just sit at home and do nothing," Michael Ryan said.

Working with the rods is also good therapy for his hand tremors. It's a craft he's pretty much learned himself. A lot of these rods will go to veterans. This work area was also custom built for Michael by the homebuilder. It's a work area and a sanctuary, most of the time.

"I'm out here working doing really well and all of a sudden the pain comes on and I can do nothing about it except take the meds they've given me and lay down," he said.

Careylyn showed FOX 7 everything from that bedroom to the extra wide shower where Michael can sit. Some of the furnishings were also donated by Jimmy Jacobs.

"I feel at home comfortable but there are times I walk into rooms and I'm "these are mine?" I'm thoroughly enjoying it and it is still unreal," she said.

As for the future, Michael is close to being as recovered as he will ever be and at that point Careylyn hopes to be able to work full-time and they're looking forward to starting a family.

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