Did you know that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month? The 21st is the dedicated day that families and survivors will be going to their state capitals, some will head to Washington, DC; sending a message to the Senate and Congress that TBI (traumatic brain injury) research, medical care and rehabilitation is underfunded.
I am very excited to announce that Corey and I will be affiliated with the Brain Injury Association as family advocates and speakers. We will dedicate ourselves to the BIA mission statement of raising awareness and understanding of brain injury through networking, speaking and advocacy.
Our ‘First Call’ was from the ER nurse. Like many families across the country we have been seeking guidance and direction as we learn how to cope with the new life that was chosen for us. It is our intention that our new company “Second Call Advocacy Group” will provide help, hope and healing to TBI survivors and their families as they find their way along their recovery path. Our work has already begun…
Corey and I were interviewed today by our local paper. Second Call’s first task is to work with the local township to lobby the Governor for approval of a grant for a traffic signal at the intersection of Corey’s accident. There have been 5 accidents at this intersection in the 9 months that we’ve been home. There have been countless accidents at this intersection over the 20 years we’ve lived in this area. We will lobby for a traffic signal and settle for nothing less than a four way stop. We may be calling on your support to join us in writing Governor Tom Corbett. If we can arrange it, we will visit him personally!
In addition, the most important fight we have is towards Healthcare coverage for length of stay for inpatient acute care as well as rehabilitation coverage for TBI patients. We have been reaching out to Senators and Congressman across the country to highlight the lack of coverage and reimbursement for this “forgotten” demographic. 1.7 million people per year acquire a TBI. 90% of the acute injuries remain in a vegetative state. 10% open their eyes but do not regain much function. 3% of the 10% do regain functional improvement. Corey is in the 3%. Continuing coverage to assist her recovery is a weekly/monthly battle. TBI patients are often bundled with Stroke or Alzheimer’s patients. All three are VERY different medical conditions. Their families are charged with the daunting task of fighting for the recovery their loved one deserves yet are repeatedly denied.
Gabby Giffords is the perfect public example of how the acute level of rehabilitation can restore a person to a functioning life. However, her professional position allows her to be the exception not the norm. We are hoping to highlight Corey’s recovery to show that the average American needs the same resources. As you know, there is a direct correlation between the amount of therapy the patient receives and the progress they make. In-patient and/or homecare therapy is critical in helping the patient gain their strength and function in order to move towards continuing out-patient services. The patient’s recovery is a life long process. The coverage needed to achieve their goal is nearly non-existent. Corey’s progress has been amazing to say the least solely due to our fight for in-home therapy services. If Corey’s story can help one other patient regain their life, then March is the perfect time to give this story a voice.