My people are traumatic brain injury survivors

By Lori Purdy Faitel

I am a traumatic brain injury survivor, 7 day coma survivor who spent about 6 years before I was comfortable in society. Development did not stop there. For many years I have been saying that after 6 years of learning I was able to rejoin society; while in reality it has now been 26+ years and I am still learning and developing.
Even those who have not suffered a traumatic brain injury continue to develop. People may graduate from high school at about the age of 18 and then continue to grow. People can graduate from college at any age, development and personal growth does not stop there. Post grad studies, social participation, governmental studies, parenthood all life activities have a beginning and ending date but development in those areas for each individual continues.
For an unknown reason it seems medicine and therapy teach the traumatic brain injured that their development has an end. It is the responsibility of the traumatic brain injured to recognize and people in their lives to help them to recognize how developement of all humans has no ending point.
The traumatic brain injured do in fact have the same brain as the non-traumatic brain injured. Just that it has been injured. Recent studies show how unbelievable elastic our brains are. A brain can be severely injured yet it has the ability to develop replacement matter or new pathways. The non-traumatic brain injury develops within the limits nature gave it. A brain that has been injured can develop also.
How do brains develop? Intelligence previously was looked at as a characteristic of personality. Isn’t intelligence born of brain function? A personality is nurtured and individual for all. Didn’t the function of each person create the personality? Our brain is the root of all function. To develop intellectually, socially, spiritually, physically and in every way we need brain function.
My people are the traumatic brain injured. All ideas will help all brain functioning but my concern is for education of the brain injured, their caregivers, medical personnel, family and all who become involved. For some unexplained reason many of the traumatic brain injured are unaware of the limitless possibility of their own brain function.