His dad came back from the war with PTSD. His friends built an app to help.
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Dignity Health old

When Tyler's dad, Patrick, returned from serving in Iraq, he'd changed in many ways.

All GIFs via USA Today/YouTube.


Tyler, who was in sixth grade at the time, changed in many ways, as well. Your dad "disappearing for a year and coming back a little bit different" is bound to leave a mark, Tyler told USA Today. "His army buddies [came] back a little bit different, too."

That "difference" has a name: post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that affects an estimated 7.7 million Americans.

PTSD really took its toll on Tyler's dad — and for him, it came with night terrors.

Hating to see his dad suffer under these circumstances, Tyler stepped in to help.

In September, he and his friends entered a computer programming contest in Washington, D.C.

The challenge? Create a mobile application to help veterans.

They knew just what to do.

In a short 36 hours, his team had developed a genius app called myBivy to help veterans like Tyler's dad sleep better.

The smartphone and smartwatch app works like this: It tracks your heart rate and movement while you sleep, learning about your sleep cycle and finding the exact symptoms that trigger a panic attack. It's completely data-driven, so the more it's used, the more it learns and can help you.

"We at myBivy are trying to exploit the science of the sleep cycles in order to prevent these night terrors," Tyler says.

When the symptoms of a night terror begin, the app has the ability to take the person out of the deep sleep they're in while still keeping them asleep. And when the person wakes up in the morning, data from the night before shows how they slept. There's even an option to send the health statistics to their VA doctor or clinician.

This app has the potential to prevent night terrors altogether. Can you imagine?

Tyler and his team won the big prize of the contest, and now they have a successful Kickstarter set up where you can learn about myBivy's next steps, including taking it through clinical trials soon.

We only want the best for our loved ones and our heroes in uniform. Watching them battle PTSD (and all it can bring with it) can leave quite a helpless feeling.

Seeing ideas like myBivy in action gives so much hope for the future of health care, technology, and generations to come.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

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