Whole Health helped Joe Morgan find his groove again.

Morgan is a people person who loves being active in his church and with his bowling league. Those two things had become almost impossible for Morgan due to severe pain in his body.

“I was so depressed and under stress that my body was breaking down,” he said.

Morgan had diabetes, high blood pressure, degenerative arthritis, and was not getting around very well.

“My whole life was at a standstill and I wasn’t going anywhere,” he said. “I had always been active but now even the littlest things I couldn’t do.”

Morgan joined the Marines directly out of high school in 1971 and served in the infantry in 16 countries on an amphibious unit in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.

Years of carrying a 120-pound field pack, climbing mountains and crawling took its toll on Morgan’s body. He was at the point where he could not walk down the block without his knees and back going out.

Championship as bowling captain made him come alive.

“In perfect health all my life.”

“I had no health issues until I was 62,” he said. “No colds, no flu, no pneumonia. I was in picture perfect health my whole life, played basketball, football and baseball. I bowled two to three times a week and knew each of the 180 people in the leagues.”

Morgan also serves in his church as a superintendent and administrator.

He began his journey of Whole Health at the Charlotte VA Outpatient Clinic, part of the W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, NC. He was referred to Health and Wellness Coach Maiya Keeling who helped him get into yoga, tai chi and acupuncture.

“Thank God for her.”  

Thanks to the Whole Health work he has done, Morgan is able to sit and stand for longer periods, which allows him to make the one-hour trip to and from his church again.

“When I was doing tai chi, I was even able to cut down on the pain medications,” he added. “Some days I didn’t have to take them at all.”

Morgan is back to walking and bowling and attending church regularly. After his wife of 43 years and his family, church and bowling are the two things he loves more than anything.

“I have both of those things back and I thank God and Whole Health for getting me here,” he said. “I am upbeat and truly happy.”

He has always been an unofficial recruiter for the Marines and now he is recruiting for Whole Health.

“Thank God and Whole Health for getting me here.”

“The transformation Mr. Morgan has experienced is truly what we hope for when our Veterans connect with Whole Health,” Keeling said. “As his health coach, I worked to first determine what mattered most to him. It wasn’t about the diabetes or blood pressure. It was about getting back to bowling and doing the things he once loved. We were then able to focus on the behaviors that would get him closer to that goal.

“As a result, the clinical outcomes followed. When Mr. Morgan shared that he was again bowling and even made it to the championship as captain, I could see that made him come alive. The fact that it made such an impact on his physical and mental health was something we knew was possible, but it turned out to be even more than what we both had hoped for when his journey started.”

For more information on Whole Health and how you can get started on your journey, visit www.va.gov/WHOLEHEALTH/index.asp.

By Andrea Young is a field implementation team consultant for the Office of Patient Centered Care & Cultural Transformation

Share this story

Published on Aug. 14, 2021

Estimated reading time is 3.1 min.

Views to date: 168

More Stories

  • Houston VA swore in new honorary police chief 10-year-old DJ Daniel who is battling terminal spinal and brain cancer. “Welcome aboard, Chief.”

  • Navy Veteran Jesse Allison Linam was a chief fire controlman during WWII in the South Pacific from 1940 to 1946. He receives care at the new Texarkana CBOC.

  • New genetic research discoveries may one day help doctors better screen Veterans at risk of suicide and prevent it in the first place.