Papillion family launches phone app for PTSD, TBI survivors

Lightbridge is currently in beta trials, free of charge, to veterans and their families.
A new app is being beta tested with veterans and their families designed to make life with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries easier to live.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:19 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Joy Lewis’s son, Jordan, was 18 when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a crash. Two decades later, the Papillion family has created a phone app for brain injury survivors they call Lightbridge.

“What we tried to do, and what Jordan gave so much of himself to do, was take our experience and put it into something that allowed people to take action, and take action at their own pace, and not be told what they should do,” Joy said.

An accident, childhood abuse, sexual violence, assault, being threatened with a weapon, and combat exposure can all lead to PTSD, which is similar to TBI in its challenges -- so an app originally designed for those with brain injuries is proving helpful to others.

“It’s not just for those of us who are struggling to live life,” Joy said. “It’s for those who want to live their best life. And gives you all of those strengths that come from daily routines and connection.”

Veterans are twice as likely to suffer PTSD than others, so a grant from Health and Human Services is funding a study to see if the app is a helpful part of their support system.

“I use it every day to check in with my wellness,” said Paige Ott, U.S. Navy veteran and Lutheran Family Services counselor. “My having a good day, my having a bad day...I set up routines.”

Ott is taking part in the beta study as both a counselor and Navy veteran. She believes the anonymous peer support aspect can be a lifesaver.

“They can put in there [to] contact someone, or have someone contact me, and they can search by name and I will pull up as peer support,” Ott said. “I can call a man, talk about the ledger, even just support and say, ‘Hey, I know, I’ve been there.’”

The beta trial that is free for veterans and their families will continue through April 13. Download and sign up anytime. They’re hoping that will help them gain the financing they need to continue to offer the app free to veterans in the future.

There are some nominal fees for general users, but not for the Veterans Rally Point Nebraska system.