In May, 2015 moments after dropping his children off at school and heading to an event, my active, healthy 45 year old brother was in the middle of a conversation with fellow educators, when he collapsed. To this day, doctors have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause. No drinking or drugs were involved.
What has transpired as our family sacrificed everything to ensure my brother regains all that God intends, has been nothing short of a miracle and a journey in faith; it is also replete with examples of the failures of our health care system.
Our amazing mother has devoted her daily life to care for my brother 24/7. We have exhausted our life's savings just to ensure my brother receives the vital treatment he needs.
Over the years I've come to realize that most of our battles result from the lack of research, treatment protocols and the sheer belief that anoxic patients' diagnosis renders them unworthy of rehabilitation and care. Congress holds the key to getting HHS to simply begin to count anoxic brain injuries, which is the first step to research, rehab and treatment. Anoxic Warriors like Pam Blaxton-Dowd have been advocating for anoxic patients for years. We will now leverage this site to mobilize even more voices for the humane treatment of anoxic patients.
In addition, each month I see inquiries from new families who have run an online search and found us. These stories are painful reminders of my own family's days sitting in ICU, praying for direction. We, too searched online as it became increasingly obvious that our well-meaning medical team simply was not trained in brain injury recovery.
Although many friends and few family members have abandoned my brother along this long, difficult journey (a sad, but common occurrence with anoxic injury), God has used a group of families that I call, "Anoxic Warriors" to inspire, educate and encourage us. This site will serve as a resource as we bring together these courageous families to share the many resources they have discovered on the journey.
Anoxic Warrior and proud big sister
Today, traumatic injuries are the only brain injuries counted by the CDC. Why does this matter? Counting the actual occurrences of injury is the first step to research, as well as education for medical teams.
Without such rehabilitation and treatment, patients suffering from anoxic brain injuries are all too often left to be abused or die in substandard nursing homes and facilities.
Anoxic brain injury is typically such a holistic brain injury that it devastates families, resulting in many families suffering extreme financial strain/bankruptcy, divorce, isolation, and other breakdowns.
We will work to gather support groups, education, websites, and other resources to help families navigate this difficult, yet rewarding journey.