Some brain injury survivors and their families make a common mistake. They view the brain injury event as an ending. Life as they know it is over and that there is no hope for success in the future. This is most certainly not the case. Many survivors of serious brain injuries later had amazing successes. One of the prominent success stories that will soon be taking center stage is President-elect Joe Biden.
In 1988, Joe Biden was experiencing neck pains and headaches. He did not know it then but soon his life would change due to aneurysms. An aneurysm is a weak spot on an artery which can lead the artery to break. In his case, the artery broke in his brain. It is a form of a stroke which has a high fatality rate.
Following a February speech in New York, Biden passed out in his hotel. He was unconscious for five hours. He later required two brain surgeries for aneurysms, one which had already broken and another which had the potential to break. The surgeries saved his life. He initially had common physical effects of stroke such as a facial droop. Following 6 months of recovery, he was cleared to return to work. The aneurysm changed how Biden viewed his daily activities. Now, more than 30 years later, he will soon be inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America.
However, Joe Biden is not the first brain injury survivor to be elected US President. Few people know that Abraham Lincoln had a serious brain injury as a youth. When he was just 10 years old, he was at a mill with his horse to grind food. At one point he whipped his horse and the horse kicked him in the head. Lincoln was left unconscious. Many of his family and friends feared that he would die until he regained consciousness the following day. Despite this incident, he became one of the most important figures in US history.
At Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute, many of our patients have reached great heights following their injuries. We have had the pleasure of watching our patients graduate from colleges and achieve work successes. Several of our patients later got married and started families.
A brain injury does not have to be the end of a life journey. Often, it may just be one chapter to a successful life story.