Victoria man credits Honour House with PTSD diagnosis

Liam Stackwood has seen more traumatic things in the past two decades than most people have in their entire life.

Liam Stackwood has seen more traumatic things in the past two decades than most people have in their entire life.

Working as a military policeman in cities around Canada, including Victoria, Liam was often first on the scene of horrific crashes and accidents on a daily basis.

One crash was particularly traumatizing for Liam, where he was first on scene when three teenagers had been in a car accident and were thrown from the vehicle.

“That one stayed with him for a long time,” said his wife, Lisa.

To ease the pain, Liam and his colleagues would go to the local bar and drink.

Shortly after, the nightmares and blackouts began.

In one incident, while eating at a restaurant, Lisa crossed her legs, knocking the table accidentally, making a noise so loud it was similar to that of a car crash. Liam stood up and flipped the table over yelling “what’s going on, I can’t control this!”

“He just went straight back to his accident scene,” Lisa said. “When he came back, he didn’t understand why everyone was staring at him.”

That was the beginning of the duo’s troubles.

In 2007, Liam was diagnosed with cancer, at which point he also found out his heart was too weak to receive chemotherapy. Seven years later, his heart deteriorated and he was sent to the Lower Mainland to receive a heart transplant.

Initially, Lisa stayed in a hotel for three weeks at a cost of $3,000 — something they could not afford to continue paying.

That’s when the couple went to the Honour House Society in New Westminster for help. The non-profit society provides a temporary home for people in the Canadian Forces, veterans, emergency services personnel and their families while they receive medical care.

It provided Liam and Lisa with a place to stay during the year-long recovery after the heart transplant — while other accommodations would have cost them an estimated $90,000. It is also where Liam was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“That would have broke us financially. There’s no way we would have been able to pay that,” said the now 58-year-old Victoria resident, adding the staff at Honour House made the transplant recovery easier as well.

“Honour House is so calming. I knew I was just going to get better. Whereas when I stayed in a hotel, I was immediately triggered and couldn’t sleep.”

Now, Liam is cancer free, learning how to deal with his new heart and continuing to receive treatment for PTSD.

The Honour House Society recently kicked off the Tour of Honour in Victoria, a 10-week tour to raise awareness of PTSD in 38 communities around the province. For more information visit honourhouse.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Five Halloween activities for adults to celebrate the spooky season

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls in Greater Victoria

Central Saanich changes incentives for housing developments

Changes shift incentives for some developments from development cost charges to building permit fees

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read