Blogs Articles Organizations Biography Jack's Book Contact Information Links

Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog


Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

 
From The Frederick News Post
(Originally published March 31, 2009)

In July 1995, Jean Berube's father, a professor at Old Dominion University, was involved in a car accident. Soon after, he appeared completely recovered from relatively minor injuries.

"It was months later, in October, when he started slurring his words and showed symptoms that looked like he was having a stroke," Berube said. "My mother knew something was wrong."

Rushed to Virginia Beach General Hospital, Berube's father underwent emergency brain surgery. A subdural hematoma, as a result of brain injury, after weeks of slow, undetected bleeding, suddenly reached a critical mass.

"It took months, but my dad got better and eventually went back to work," she said. "In the end, he was fortunate."

The event changed her life.

A lawyer and legislative assistant working on health care issues, among others, on Capitol Hill for former Virginia congressman Owen Pickett, Berube returned home to Virginia briefly to take care of her family. She, of course, became very interested in what had happened to her dad, and in the nature of brain injury itself.

In 1997, she left Pickett's office to become director of public policy and government relations for the Brain Injury Association in Alexandria. Since, Berube, who now lives in Frederick , has been an independent consultant and lobbyist for a variety of brain injury organizations, including the International Brain Injury Association and the National Brain Injury Research, Treatment and Training Foundation.

Today she's recognized as a leading lobbyist specializing in work on behalf of nonprofits providing research and care in the traumatic brain injury field. She works with everyone from Dr. Rick Hunt, director for injury response at the Center for Disease Control, to Col. Michael Jaffe, M.D., the national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, to leaders of health care reform and the Wounded Warriors Project, to congressmen such as Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., a leading advocate for brain injury research, and Frederick Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, who joined the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force last summer.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the all-day fair March 25 featured presentations on mild traumatic brain injuries from the battlefield to the football field, a congressional briefing and reception. The next day an all-day seminar included panels on the costs of brain injury from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, health care reform and preventing disparity in civilian, military and veterans health care.

National Guard troops, for example, Berube said, once their tour of duty is done, often visit civilian doctors unfamiliar with diagnosing and treating issues such as mild traumatic brain injury.

Even before actress Natasha Richardson died earlier this month after initially rejecting medical attention following a seemingly minor fall while skiing, traumatic brain injury research and care has been receiving more attention in recent years because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Continue reading the article.

Labels: , , ,


 
It's been a busy few weeks. We usually write about embryonic stem cells on the Beginning of Human Life blog, but since the research could benefit those suffering from traumatic brain injuries, I'm including those news items here as well. First, a recap on the embryonic stem cell issue:

The Moral Imperative to Relieve Suffering: Embryonic Stem Cell Research

There have been many moral objections raised to embryonic stem cell research. But as President Obama prepares to sign an executive order to repeal his predecessor's ban on federal funding for such scientific inquiry, we should also ask what the moral imperatives are to do this research. In addition, are there moral insights that can help us develop guidelines for the research?

Restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research have retarded scientific investigation that could well yield important medical advances. Devastating diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, heart disease, and spinal cord injury may see treatments emerge that can relieve enormous suffering and promote healing. There is a clear moral imperative, shared across many religions, to relieve suffering and promote healing. This is a strong ground on which to base religious arguments for the research.

The religious objections arise specifically in relationship to embryonic stem cell research. The religious controversy is rooted in the belief that the fertilized egg, even while not implanted in a woman's uterus, is still spiritually complete "life" and as such sacrosanct.

Read the article in The Washington Post.


President Obama Reverses Bush's Stem Cell Research Ban
WASHINGTON
– President Obama reversed a Bush administration order and vowed Monday to "vigorously support" stem cell research that scientists hope will lead to cures for deadly ailments like diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

"We will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for and fought for these past eight years. We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research," Obama said to cheers at the White House.

Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Obama signed an executive order ending President Bush’s ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

Read the article in U.S. News & World Report.


Some Catholics Disappointed in Obama

He garnered the majority of Catholic votes in the 2008 election, but a number of Catholic groups now say President Obama is showing a complete lack of regard for their beliefs.

They count his decisions to lift restrictions on abortion and stem cell research among the most offensive.

"As far as the Catholic church goes, there's no bigger priority for Catholics than human dignity and human life," said Cathy Ruse, senior fellow at the Family Research Council said. "And the Obama administration has just been an assault on those values again and again in just two months."

But some American Catholics support the president, saying his policies are consistent with their "mainstream" beliefs.

"President Obama has already reached out and won the Catholic vote," Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said.

"That's what happened in the last election in spite of the very loud voices of some extreme uber-Catholics who really want to paint this black and white picture -- to engage us in this endless culture war," he said.

O'Brien, whose group supports access to contraception and abortion, said Obama presented Catholic voters with a social justice agenda they can support.

Read the article at FoxNews.com.


Majority of Americans Likely Support Stem Cell Decision
Fifty-two percent support easing Bush-era restrictions or lifting restrictions entirely
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A majority of Americans likely support President Barack Obama's executive order Monday doing away with the rules on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research that were in place under the Bush administration. In a Gallup Poll conducted last month, 38% of Americans said they support easing those restrictions and another 14% said they favor no restrictions at all. About 4 in 10 Americans favor keeping the Bush restrictions or eliminating federal funding altogether.

Read more about the poll and what the country's really thinking at Gallup.com.


Then traumatic brain injury was all over the news this week for a sad story. The lovely, talented actress Natasha Richardson, married to actor Liam Neeson and the daughter of Oscar-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave, fell on a beginner's ski slope in Canada, felt and acted fine after the accident, began having headaches about an hour later, lapsed into a coma, her brain ceased to function, she was removed from life support and died within hours. Broadway, Hollywood, and the rest of the country were shocked. She was so talented. She was so beautiful. By all accounts, she was so funny, and loving, and giving. She was only 45. How could a simple fall in which she ran into nothing or no one cause her to die?
Richardson Died From Clot That Compressed Brain Natasha Richardson, the British actress who fell during a ski lesson on Monday and later in the day lapsed into a coma, died of a large blood clot compressing her brain, New York City's medical examiner said yesterday.The bleeding that led to the clot was caused by "blunt impact to the head," according to the official report, which also labeled the death an accident.

The formal name for the condition is "epidural hematoma." It is usually the result of bleeding from arteries torn when the skull is struck hard, often on the temple where the bone is thinnest.

Arterial hemorrhage inside the skull is a potential catastrophe. Each heartbeat pumps blood under high pressure into a confined space, compressing the brain tissue.

"It is the most feared, treatable problem in neurosurgery," said Gail Rosseau, chief of surgery at the Neurologic and Orthopedic Hospital of Chicago. "These are the patients who 'talk and die.'"

Read the article in The Washington Post.

Then the accident dissection and second-guessing starts. I know it's important to understand why she died, but it just feels like it would be a little more decent to wait until after her funeral. Anyhow:

Natasha Richardson Refused to Wear Helmet
Natasha Richardson chose not to wear an inexpensive ski helmet which could have saved her life.

According to "The Sun," the actress who died after falling during a ski lesson at a Canadian resort, turned down resort staff recommendations that she wear the head protection.

Read the article at ArkansasMatters.com


After Wake, Some Wonder If Helicopter Could Have Saved Richardson

A day before Natasha Richardson's scheduled funeral, some are wondering if a medical helicopter might have been able to save the actress, who passed away Wednesday at age 45 after falling on a Quebec ski slope. The province of Quebec lacks a medical helicopter system, often used in the US and other parts of Canada, to airlift stricken patients to major trauma centers. Montreal's top head trauma doctor told The Associated Press that may have played a role in Richardson's death.

"It's impossible for me to comment specifically about her case, but what I could say is ... driving to Mont Tremblant from the city (Montreal) is a 2 1/2-hour trip, and the closest trauma center is in the city. Our system isn't set up for traumas and doesn't match what's available in other Canadian cities, let alone in the States," Tarek Razek, director of trauma services for the McGill University Health Centre, which represents six of Montreal's hospitals, told the AP.

Read the article at ABC News.
And then there's this final disgusting note:
Anti-gay church plans protest of Richardson funeral
MILLBROOK — Members of the Topeka, Kan.-based baptist church said they are coming to Millbrook Sunday to protest Natasha Richardson's funeral.

On it's Web site, Westboro Baptist Church said it plans to protest at St. Joseph's Church because Richardson supported research for a cure for AIDS. The small Kansas church has protested schools, colleges, churches, funerals and other venues.

The Westboro Baptist Church, founded in 1955 by the Rev. James Phelps, describes itself as an old-school Baptist church.

In April 2004, nine members of the church came to New Paltz to protest the same-sex marriages officials were conducting. They were met by hundreds of New Paltz-area residents who came out in support of the same-sex ceremonies and to oppose the Kansas group that held banners and shouted slogans with homosexual slurs.

Nearly 100 police officers from New Paltz, state police, Ulster County Sheriff's Department, Town of Lloyd and the Town of Ulster provided security at the event. No incidents were reported.

On Friday, local police said they are preparing for traffic and crowds Sunday, based on reports Richardson will be buried in a private ceremony near the family's Town of Washington home.

Read the article in the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Labels: , , ,


TBI Film Reviews
TBI Book Reviews
Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog
Brain Blog
NeuroNotes
Brain Blogger
SoapBlox/Chicago: Protecting Our Troops
Head Injury Survival Journal
Losing the Physical Self

Tower of Hanoi: Instructions for this popular puzzle can be viewed simply by clicking the Instructions button on that page.

May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   January 2009   March 2009   April 2009   December 2009   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   July 2011   August 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   December 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013   June 2013   October 2013  

only sossisson.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

FindingBlog - Blog Directory