Photo: Betty Michalewicz and Stan Searfus
It began when an injured Army soldier who lost an arm and a leg said, “I’d like to go surfing again.” From that moment, Betty Michalewicz, Director of the Rehabilitation Through Sports Program at the Naval Medical Center SD, decided to add surfing to the sports activities she led. It was in the surfing project that she met Stan Searfus, Coronado Optimist Club member, avid surfer, and coach of the CMS Surf Club. This resulted in the Thursday morning surfing rehabilitation activities led by these two remarkable individuals.
Betty reported that between 35-40 surfers take part in the Thursday morning rehab sessions that she calls, “Ocean Therapy”. The strenuous exercise can be exhausting and that promotes nightly sleep, also very important. She emphasized that this form of exercise is physically, emotionally and spiritually healing and that these attributes occur automatically during the exercise.
This program is so important that the Navy Hospital recognizes this by giving sports rehab activities the same priority as medical appointments for the injured warriors. We salute Betty and Stan and wounded warriors that have served and continue to serve our nation.