Tim was a proud 25-year-old Marine serving in Iraq in 2006. “Being a Marine is indescribable. I thought I was tougher than anyone I came across,” Tim says. “Even though I was only about 150 pounds, I thought I could take on the world!”
On May 18, his life changed forever when he lost his legs, right eye, part of his skull and a finger to an IED. While recovering from his injuries, a Lieutenant Colonel shared a video about capuchin monkeys who were trained as service animals for people with limited mobility due to injury or illness. Tim was intrigued – he had never thought about having a monkey, and the program, run by a CFC-supported organization, would provide his monkey helper to him at no cost! After leaving the military hospital and returning home, Tim decided to apply for the program.
Webster, a trained service monkey, joined Tim’s life in 2008.
Tim knew the ways a monkey could help him around the house, like fetching dropped objects, pushing power buttons and turning light switches on and off. What he didn’t expect was how Webster would help him cope with the stresses he faced after service.
“Although I’m injured, he looks up to me as his protector,” says Tim. “I don’t feel so depressed with him around. If it were not for Webster, life at home would be very down. It’s kind of hard being alone and I don’t go out much anymore. I prefer to stay at home. But here I have Webster! I don’t see him as a monkey or an animal. I think of him as a best friend.”
Tim goes on to say, “You know that phrase: ‘Help me help you?’ With us it goes 3 ways: Help me help you help me! It’s as simple as picking up a laser and saying ‘hey, go do this for me.’ It’s really nice that Webster’s excited to help me and do things for me. By having a monkey helper you don’t have to ask for help. When you drop something and can’t pick it up, the monkey is there to do it and you don’t have to go and ask someone. It makes a huge difference in my independence.
“I make sure that I say ‘I love you, Webster’ every night before we go to sleep. I would do anything for this little guy, just like he would do anything for me.”
Please know that partnerships like Tim and Webster’s are made possible through your generosity. Because of CFC donors like you, service monkeys and lifetime support for each partnership are provided at no cost to the recipients.