I was thrown into the turbulent world of brain injury after my son was injured in a car accident in 1996. I quickly learned Brain Injury (BI) has no poster child, no predictable outcome, no “end” or “cure.” The need for physical care, financial assistance and emotional support impacts not only the person with BI but their family and friends forever. Getting out of the hospital after brain injury does not signal the end of crisis as it may for other conditions. It’s just the beginning of locating critical services such as daily care, physical, speech and vocational therapies and finding funding to pay for them—a process that lasts a lifetime.
Advocating for persons with brain injury has become a core commitment for me. In 2003, my husband and I partnered with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, UPS and the Brain Injury Association of Georgia to create a web based resource center to guide, support and empower those with brain injury and their families through the many phases of recovery. The resource was later folded into the national organization, Brain Injury Association of America (BIAAUSA.org). I chronicle our journey in my book, Back Roads Home. Anyone who has walked through crisis knows that isolation makes the difficult overwhelming. We long to know how others have endured, even thrived. And so we tell our stories and in the telling, find that we are not alone.