Physical therapy patients who can't afford treatment get help at Lazarus House


by Vicente Arenas / KHOU 11 News

Posted on June 8, 2011 at 6:32 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 8 at 6:37 PM

HOUSTON – Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords celebrated another milestone Wednesday – her 41st birthday. Giffords spent her birthday at TIRR Memorial Hermann, where she’s been recovering from a gunshot wound to the head.

But while the Congresswoman continues to receive treatment at TIRR, there’s another place in Houston offering similar services to others who simply cannot afford a place like that.

It’s called Lazarus House.

Jackie Biller said it was the last place she thought she’d get help to walk normally again.

"The coordination was gone. And I was a gymnast, so I lost all, you know, I couldn’t walk and look at the sky at the same time," she said.

Surgery to fix a brain defect left her walking sideways.

Money was tight, and insurance was tangled in red tape.

So trainers at Lazarus House came to her rescue.

Veronica Thomas came to Lazarus House after a car crash left her barely able to move.

"I’ve gone through several therapy programs where I have this set amount of sessions which may only last one or two months out of the year, and then for the rest of the year, I can’t do anything until insurance recycles," Thomas said.

But thanks to Lazarus House, she’s getting help, too.