Over my 25+ years as a psychologist dealing with brain injury, I have seen too many survivors fall through the cracks. At the present time, there is no standardized system of care for children with brain injuries despite the fact that it is so prevalent. Without proper care, survivors of TBI end up in psychiatric hospitals, abusing drugs and alcohol, on the street, jail and even worse.
It is easier to commit a crime and get hold of an illegal weapon than it is to access proper services for TBI.
On January 8 of 2013, I participated in a wonderful conference working towards the implementation of the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan (PABI Plan) in New York State.
The PABI Plan would create a standardized system of quality care that would be accessible to every child with an acquired brain injury, regardless of where they live or their insurance.
Below is the link to the newspaper article about the introduction of The National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) Plan Act, tabbed HR 2600. This is very exciting plan for all survivors of brain injury.
Throughout the day, I participated in stimulating multi -disciplinary meetings, sharing information with leading professionals all working collaboratively towards this common goal.
Patrick Donohue, the founder of The Brain Foundation, is the force behind this amazing act. His daughter, Sarah Jane, was violently shaken by her baby nurse when she was only five days old, causing a severe Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury – PABI.
Here is a link to one of Sarah Jane’s appearances on the Today show on NBC with her dad Patrick.
To learn more about the Sarah Jane Foundation and their story check the link below http://www.thebrainproject.org
The highlight of the evening for me was when I was seated next to Craig Sears at dinner. Craig is a brain injury survivor and advocate. Please go to the TBI Survivor section to see his story.
Craig Sears Story
Recently, Jenny, a TBI survivor who I had treated as a child, reconnected with me after 20 years. Jenny had her first stroke at age 5 and since then has had a long history of problems commonly associated with TBI.
Like many TBI survivors, the system dropped Jenny at age 21. Her transitioning into adulthood has been nothing but disastrous. Jenny had no access to appropriate referrals, interventions and resources.
Thanks to the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation and the PABI plan, all the Jennys in the world will have hope!