Army Veteran With PTSD Studying The Brain At UK To Help Others

Army Veteran With PTSD Studying The Brain At UK To Help Others

Army Veteran Johnny Cebak suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury after being injured in Iraq. Now, the Doctoral candidate at UK is studying the brain to try to find a way to help others struggling with the silent disease.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a term you might recognize.  It's tough to diagnose and even harder to treat.  It comes in many forms and can have long lasting effects.

Inside a laboratory at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Doctoral candidate Johnny Cebak studies the brain.

He doesn't need a microscope to see the problems associated with PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), he's living with them.

In 2005, Cebak, an Army combat medic, took a wrong turn near an insurgent stronghold in Iraq.  He called for the driver to pivot steer the 13-ton track vehicle on a narrow dirt road. 

It was too heavy.  The ground broke, the vehicle flipped and sank into a hole.

The impact yanked Cebak partially from the vehicle.  He lost his helmet.  Mortars exploded all around him.

He was diagnosed with PTSD and TBI.

Before dawn, Cebak was back on the front lines.

Eventually, his brain injury forced him out of the service.  He is now a medically retired U.S. Army Veteran.

Despite Cebak's daily psychological struggles, he plans to help others struggling with the silent disease by the research and studying he's doing at the University of Kentucky.

After he finishes his doctoral work, he hopes to go to medical school and possibly re-enlist.  He is only 40-percent medically retired.  He is still an officer in the Army National Guard.
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