Former Army Ranger uses setback to enable others

Treatment for veterans with spinal injuries is local thanks to the former solider and his wife.

The word hero is often tossed around way too often anymore. Yet the term may not be enough to describe Army Ranger special forces Chief Romy Carmargo.

Eight years ago Camargo was paralyzed by a sniper’s bullet in Afghanistan while on a mission. He decided that he would use his devastating injury to help others.

“He was on his back, blood was everywhere. He wasn't breathing and didn't have a heartbeat.”

Steven Hill is the man who was at Romy's side when he was shot in Afghanistan. Steven says it was a miracle he was able to save his friend at all.

“I reached up and grabbed his soul, and threw the soul back into his body,” Steven says.

And Carmargo made the most of his second chance at life.

Two years ago he and his wife Gabby formed the Stay in Step spinal cord injury and recovery center in Tampa. This came about after the couple suffered driving to and from the nearest existing treatment center, in Orlando, twice a week.

Now treatment for Carmargo and others with similar injuries is right here in Tampa Bay.

The patients at Stay in Step range in age from 16 to 60. And people from as far away as India have come to the center for treatment.

“When you’re doing the physical rehab that we provide, not only do you recover, but you also have good quality of life,” Carmargo says.

It was long road to recovery for Carmargo – surgeries, and intensive therapies. Gabby, always by his side, says she’s just happy he’s alive and thriving.

“It is a blessing,” she notes. “His determination is incredible.”

Carmargo says for those who need help, Stay in Step is the place to be.

“I can’t promise you recovery,” he says, “but I can promise you a better quality of life.”

(© 2016 WTSP)


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