RESTART Your Life / RENEW Your Mind is an assistance fund for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors founded in 2015. In recent years, brain injury has reached new levels due to the high amounts of awareness and publicity in our society. RESTART is committed to being an advocate for all survivors of “The Hidden Injury”. We have been attending increased numbers of events such as Brain Injury Assn of PA Conferences, Brain Injury Assn of DE, Hospital of University of PA Awareness Day, and Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill where we met with Federal Congressional members lobbying them for their involvement and support. RESTART has also donated to the Bryn Mawr Rehab Support Group regularly. Are you a member of any support group we have not yet spoken too? Contact us to set up an appointment to see how we can help you
On April 19, 2009, I fell 12-15 feet down a flight of steps hitting my head & face on the way before landing on the back of my neck. I was found immediately and medical help was called. Upon the arrival of First Responders, I remained unconscious on the floor. After evaluation, it was decided I needed to be flown to the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania where I lay in a coma four days. The fall had resulted in a Traumatic Brain Injury. The prognosis was bleak and the extent of recovery, if any, was unknown. I was kept in intensive care at the hospital for two weeks while having some procedures done, as well as trying to control multiple DVT blood clots in major femoral vessels. A stainless steel (IVC) filter was inserted to avoid clot particles from breaking away and travelling to my heart / lungs, creating bigger or possibly even fatal issues. Once the tracheotomy tubes were removed, I was transferred to Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital in Malvern with minimal physical and cognitive abilities having been recovered before being transported. Physically, I could not walk, hold myself up, nor perform any mundane daily life functions at all without assistance. There were basically no fine motor skills functioning of the left side of my body. Cognitively, I didn't recognize people I had known most of my life and had no recollection of the fall or where I was. I am told I couldn’t hold a conversation, talk clearly, nor even fully comprehend what was being said to me. I don’t remember about one month of my life.
Recovery from Brain Injury requires an understanding (of the survivor) that people think you look and act normally. It is often referred to as “The Hidden Injury” because most people don’t see anything wrong. They do not realize what you are going through. I was told my life would never be like it used to be! There is no doubt that this is an ongoing recovery effort.
As I progressed in this recovery effort, I realized that although many doors to TBI Assistance had been opened, I ultimately realized they closed as I walked through them many times. Being considered an "Advanced Level of Rehab" patient it became more and more obvious that assistance for higher level rehab patients was non-existent or too stringent to acquire. I then decided I wanted to give back to the TBI Community in some way. After being inspired by someone whom had their trauma many years ago, I decided to move forward with this fund. The goal of this fund is not to pay for actual rehabilitation or medical needs, but to assist with making people aware of resources available including things like education, advocacy, and attending conferences or seminars. The intent also is to provide assistance to TBI Survivors whom have the opportunity to experience "Once in a Lifetime" events after acquiring Traumatic Brain Injury. Funds will be raised for this 501c3 Organization through personal and corporate donations as well as various events throughout the year.
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