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A head injury is not something that CAN happen. It DOES happen!

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  Famous Brain Injury Survivors




A Brain Injury can happen to anyone...At Anytime. 

Did you know... These people have all suffered Brain Injuries




List of Famous People who Have and Had Dementia


Abraham Lincoln was kick in the back of his head by a mule and had a lazy eye because of his brain Injury.  To learn more about this plan a visit  to see the program call Lincoln's Eyes at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Lincoln was reported to suffer from "melancholia", which we know today as depression.  Could this have been cause by his brain injury?  We know that depression is one of the most common disorder following a TBI.

  Amy Davis is crowned Miss Utah 2004 at Abravanel Hall June 26.  Amy Davis lay unconscious on the Weber State University stadium track with a serious brain injury from a cheerleading stunt that went awry.


Title of Miss Utah is crowning feat in wake of brain injury 


By Andrew Kirk
Deseret Morning News
Published: Monday, July 5, 2004 9:39 p.m. MDT
Three years ago Amy Davis lay unconscious on the Weber State University stadium track with a serious brain injury from a cheerleading stunt that went awry.


On June 26, she stood on the stage of Abravanel Hall to be crowned Miss Utah 2004.


The achievement doesn't surprise those who know Davis.

"I knew she was going to do it someday, she was just the type," said Summer Willis, her former cheer and dance instructor at Weber State.


Friend and cheerleading team member Tiana Barkdull often visited Davis in the hospital, even though Davis could not remember much from one day to the next.


"She and her partner had miscommunication," Barkdull said of the accident. "When he realized she was going to fall, he grabbed her leg. He was trying to help, but he made it worse."

By strange coincidence, coaches weren't there that day, and nobody knew what to do.


"It felt like 9-1-1 took forever to get there," Barkdull said.

But two weeks later, Davis was out of the hospital. In a few months, she was back at school.


Willis is familiar with Davis' persistence and work ethic after seeing her return to the team and continue performing after the accident


I wanted to be as good as everyone else, I didn't want to be treated differently," Davis said.


Not feeling comfortable with getting back into cheering stunts, the team allowed her to switch over to dancing, Willis said.

"I had a hard time with balance and coordination," Davis said about cheering after returning to school.


Because of her talent it was the natural thing to do, Willis said.

"She catches on really quick," Barkdull added. "Being thrown into dancing, most people wouldn't be able to keep up."


But juggling several talents seems to be Davis' forte. A graduate in musical theater, she can sing as well as play both the violin and piano. She's been in a commercial for Comcast, and a gigantic poster of her modeling clothing graced the front of Crossroads Mall.


Davis admits, however, that resuming her studies, music and other pursuits after her accident was not easy. The damage to her frontal lobe made it hard to focus, and she battled bouts of depression and feelings of being overwhelmed


Later, she learned that these were natural symptoms of her injury. Understanding that offered such relief that Davis has chosen brain injury education, prevention and support for her main goal as Miss Utah.


Although it was difficult to relearn many skills during recovery, Davis said, continuing with piano and violin were critical to overcoming her mental and emotional setbacks.

"Music was key to my recovery because I had to sit and focus," she said.


Classmate Arthur Lazalde said Davis' musical skills never ceased to amaze him. He was in her musical theater class when she announced she'd be competing for the Miss Utah title. When asked what her talent would be, she stepped up to a piano and played a very complicated piece of classical music, he said.

"You'd never know it because she's so humble," Lazalde said. "She's an incredibly hard worker."


Davis even impressed her competition in the pageant. Cami Harbertson, Miss Farmington and Davis' roommate during the weeklong Miss Utah pageant, said Davis never quit preparing.

Davis taped herself practicing for the interview portion of the competition and reviewed her tapes constantly, even up to when she went onstage.


"I just knew if I wanted to win I'd have to give it everything I had. I put preparation in months before, and I knew I couldn't let that go," she said.,1249,595075298,00.html


Barbara Mandrell Country Singer, suffered a brain injury in a car accident on 9-11- 1984.
  Barbara Mandrell: Sweetness Through Suffering
By Cheryl Wilcox and Scott Ross
The 700 Club

SCOTT ROSS: Moving on to something else, the numbers 9-1-1, 9-11, have particular significance in your life. Right now, for American, September 11, 2001, has particular significance, but 9-1-1 was something significant in your life years ago.


BARBARA MANDRELL: 1984 September 11.




BARBARA MANDRELL: My oldest two children were young then and I was driving. We were hit head-on. The experts at the scene and the experts at the hospital, the professionals, medical personnel, and law enforcement--all of them said we would have all been dead. No way we could have lived through that. Because my Father knows everything, He gave us the chance to live through it.


SCOTT ROSS: And the other driver?


BARBARA MANDRELL: He was killed.


SCOTT ROSS: Whoa. That left its mark on you, didn't it? Not just physically, but mentally and spiritually?


BARBARA MANDRELL: Yes, it did. I had a really serious head injury. I don't know the meaning of any of this. I don't know the whys and wherefores. I am just sharing with you. It seems to me that unless you or someone very close to you has had a bad head injury, you really can't fathom it. You have no concept of what it is all about. It was so difficult for my whole family, not just me.


SCOTT ROSS: A change of personality?


BARBARA MANDRELL: Oh, totally. I would refer to myself in the third person: 'That was her' or 'She did that' or 'You should have asked her. I can't do that.'


SCOTT ROSS (reporting): Barbara went through months of an agonizing recovery. The brain injury left her confused, agitated, prone to bouts of ecstasy and rage. Through it all, the love of her family and her Heavenly Father sustained her. As God so often does, out of this tragedy came new life.


BarbaraMandrell: The Official Site


  Get to the Heart: My Story by Barbara Mandrell, George Vecsey

Six years after a car accident changed her life, one of America's best-loved entertainers tells her story--of family loyalty, demanding personal and professional challenges, and a sometimes harrowing tale of survival against the odds.


Check out the Moive by this same title with Maureen McCormisck as Barbara Mandrell



Bob Woodruff joined ABC News in 1996 and has covered major stories throughout the country and around the world for the network. He was named co-anchor of ABC's “World News Tonight” in December 2005. On January 29, 2006 , while reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces, Mr. Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb that struck his vehicle near Taji , Iraq
In An Instant


The frank and compelling account of how Bob and Lee Woodruff’s lives came together, were blown apart, and then were miraculously put together again.


Bob Woodruff Family Fund for TBI

to assist servicemen and women and their families affected by the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.




   Trisha Meili the Central Park Jogger
Trisha Meili (born June 24, 1960), often described in the media as the Central Park Jogger, was the victim in a high-profile assault and rape case in New York City in 1989.  On April 19, 1989, the 28-year-old investment banker was violently assaulted while jogging in New York City's Central Park. She was raped and beaten almost to death. When found, she was suffering from severe hypothermia and blood loss, and her skull had been fractured. The initial prognosis of her physicians was that she would die or remain in a permanent coma due to her injuries; she recovered fully, however, with no memory of the attack.  Today, Ms. Meili speaks to groups, including businesses, universities, brain injury associations, sexual assault centers and hospitals, about her journey of recovery and healing. With her work, book and lectures, she offers lessons on how to manage through unpredictable change, whether personal, professional economic or spiritual. Her story has encouraged people worldwide to overcome life's obstacles - regardless of what they might be - and get back on the road to life.
Pro wrestler Chris Benoit

Benoit's brain injury may have led to killings

Associated Press Writer

Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at 9:53 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2007 at 10:01 a.m.
ATLANTA (AP) -- Pro wrestler Chris Benoit suffered brain damage from his years in the ring that could help explain why he killed his wife, son and himself in their suburban Atlanta home in June, a doctor who studied Benoit's brain said Wednesday.

The Sports Legacy Institute, an organization that advances health and wellness of athletes, coordinated the testing using samples of Benoit's brain tissue provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation with the permission of Benoit's father.


Despite the results of the testing, Dr. Robert Cantu, a member of the institute and chief of neurosurgery service at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass., said there was no way to know for sure if the concussions Benoit suffered caused the murder-suicide.


"Whether it is the sole factor I believe is speculation and I will not go there," Cantu said in a telephone interview.

Cantu did say that the brain injury Benoit suffered can cause depression and irrational behavior.

Benoit's brain showed the same degenerative processes that doctors working for the institute found in the brains of three National Football League players who committed suicide, Cantu said. There were abnormal protein deposits caused by trauma to Benoit's brain, Cantu said


The Sports Legacy Institute
Honorees Suzanne Sena and Della Reese at the "Stars for Stroke" Gala on Tuesday.
Della Reese shines at 'Stars for Stroke'

By W. Reed Moran, Spotlight Health

With medical adviser, Stephen A. Shoop, M.D.


Della Reese only partially remembers the day in 1979 when she was singing Pieces of Dreams on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. But what she does recall includes a terrifying, life-changing moment.


"I was in the middle of the song when my body began to twitch uncontrollably," Reese recalls. "Before I knew it, I fell to my knees in front of everyone and was suddenly unconscious." What no one knew at the time was that Reese was suffering a massive hemorrhagic stroke as an aneurysm burst in her brain.


She was moved to three different hospitals before doctors correctly diagnosed her condition. "At first, doctors were looking in everywhere but the right place. I suppose because I'm an actress and entertainer, they initially presumed I was suffering from some sort of alcohol or drug problem. That was more than insulting, it was a potentially fatal misperception."


Two weeks later, when Reese was treated surgically, doctors discovered two additional life-threatening aneurysms about to rupture. She credits prompt surgical intervention on these hidden aneurysms with saving her life.

Today, Reese is blessed with good health, and shrugs off the initial presumption of her condition. Tuesday evening, friends and fans — including Ray Charles and stroke survivor Kirk Douglas — felt equally blessed to see Reese honored at the Stars for Stroke gala in Los Angeles.


Speaking to the appreciative crowd as spokesperson for the National Stroke Association, Reese shared stories of hope and courage from other stroke survivors, including Douglas. But her message is also one of stroke prevention and awareness.


"People in my generation thought if you had a stroke, it was the end of world and there was nothing you could do about it," says Reese. "Well I'm sitting here as living proof that there is help available."

"But what people must realize is that time is of the essence," she stresses. "You must know the warning signs of a stroke, and you must seek emergency assistance immediately."


See Della Reese in

Brain Attack: A Stroke Survival Guide, produced by Al Roker Productions, Inc. in partnership with National Stroke Association, is available for purchase. NBC first aired the one-hour television program in 2007, and National Stroke Association would now like for you to have a copy of your own.



Ice Skating Legend Dick Button


Dick Buttonwas a prominent figure skater for more than seven years. He won two Olympic gold medals, five world championships and seven U.S. titles. He was the first American to capture figure skating gold at the Olympics and the only skater to make a grand slam sweep of all major titles. He was elected to the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1976. As a sports commentator, he became the first winner of an Emmy award for Outstanding Sports Personality. He wrote several books on skating and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. From there he went on to become a major producer of sports entertainment programs. Button sustained a brain injury January 31, 2000 when he took a spill on the ice. Throughout his hospitalization and to this day, he has no recollection of the fall or what happened thereafter. In order to restore his health, Button required extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation. Button has made a remarkable comeback and makes appearances on behalf of the Association.


For more information contact Geoffrey Lauer at



  Dick Button: "I'm told I had to be put in a straitjacket for the first five days because I was so violent, which is a reflection of having really damaged your brain."

Skating legend copes with brain injury

By Kat Carney
CNN Headline News

Friday, October 17, 2003 Posted: 10:21 AM EDT (1421 GMT)

CNN) --Figure skating legend Dick Button has a voice familiar to fans of ABC's "Wide World of Sports" ice skating coverage. But in 2000, a serious accident during a leisurely skate nearly silenced the announcer.

"What happened was that I must have tried a jump, and I fell. I've skated all my life and I've never fallen. All of a sudden this time, whammo, and it happened unexpectedly. When I fell, all I know is the blood was coming out of my ear. I had a concussion, and I lost the hearing in this ear," Button says.

Every 21 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a traumatic brain injury, usually from a blow to the head, according to the Brain Injury Association of America.

Traumatic brain injury is a medical emergency and symptoms can include vision and balance problems, confusion, slurred speech -- or worse. At the time of his injury, Button says he suffered some of those symptoms.

"I'm told I had to be put in a straitjacket for the first five days because I was so violent, which is a reflection of having really damaged your brain."

The road to recovery

"I don't remember the first month," Button says. "The second month is very vague to me. Some of my family was apparently told that I might never be able to balance a checkbook again or that I might never be able to commentate on skating again or that I wouldn't be able to run a business again. And they were very good to me, saying, 'I don't think you know him very well.'"


But Button, five-time world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, in 1948 and 1952, proved he could still beat the odds.


After months of rehabilitation, which included learning to walk again, Button is back in front of the camera on ABC. He's also taken on a new role as the national spokesman for the Brain Injury Association of America.

"One of the reasons why I'm a spokesperson today for the brain injury association is that nobody else will come along and admit that they've had a brain injury. Well, I'm old enough and far enough along in this world that I can say I've had a brain injury. I'm also lucky enough to be able to say I have, I think, to a great deal recuperated from that brain injury."


As a result of his accident, Button says he still has some hearing loss, as well as difficulties with his memory. But as time passes, he manages to have a sense of humor about it all.


"Sometimes I forget names, though I'm told that's not necessarily brain injury, that's just forgetting names."


Clark gets a hug from Mariah Carey after returning to his New Year's Eve bash.
"For now, Dick long," delivered with a military salute, and for his youthful appearance, earning the moniker "America's Oldest Teenager", until he suffered a stroke late in 2004. He is recovering and still needs the help from his wheelchair, but he is able to walk. With some speech ability still impaired, Clark returned to his New Year's Rockin' Eve show on December 31, 2005
Stroke survivors inspired by Dick Clark
NEW YORK (AP) — He sat stiffly behind a desk, one hand in front of him, one down at his side. His words had the familiar slurred sound of a stroke victim. But his cadence was brisk, he made himself clear, and most of all, he was there — on national TV.
Stroke survivors and their advocates said Tuesday they were cheered and inspired by Dick Clark's New Year's Eve appearance, ringing in 2006 a year after his debilitating stroke.

NASCAR Legend Ernie Irvan


In 1994, Ernie Irvan was at the top of the NASCAR standings, competing fiercely with Dale Earnhardt for the points championship when he sustained life-threatening injuries, including a traumatic brain injury (TBI), in a horrific crash at Michigan International Speedway (MIS). Irvan triumphantly returned to the NASCAR circuit - only to suffer nearly identical injuries in a crash at the same race track exactly five years to the day after his 1994 incident. This time, the resulting TBI ended his NASCAR racing career.

Though his NASCAR career had ended, Irvan saw another passion emerge - the passion to make a difference in the lives of those suffering from TBI. He has become increasingly determined to use his NASCAR popularity and personal experience to further this mission, and in February of 2004, Irvan formed a non-profit foundation called Race2Safety and works with the Association to educate the public about TBI prevention and help spearhead development of next-generation head protection safety equipment for children.


Irvan makes appearances on behalf of the Association. For information on scheduling an appearance, contact Geoffrey Lauer at




Irvan Raises Awareness for Traumatic Brain Injury

Irvan promoting brain injury awareness

By Tim Martin, The Associated Press
June 16, 2005
10:28 AM EDT (14:28 GMT)

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) -- Ernie Irvan' s life, for better and worse, has taken several twists at Michigan International Speedway.


His last NASCAR win came at Michigan in 1997. The victory sandwiched two devastating crashes on the two-mile oval that eventually forced him to retire in 1999.


So it's no coincidence Irvan chose the Michigan track as the promotional launching pad for his new focus, a nationwide effort to raise awareness about brain injury prevention.


"My whole life turned all kinds of different ways here," Irvan said while visiting the speedway recently. "My history at Michigan, my life being saved at Michigan ... it's my next step in life, my next thing to do. We feel we can make a difference."


Irvan, 46, started the Race2Safety Foundation last year. One of the group's first major fundraisers will be Aug. 17 at the Michigan track -- which hosts this Sunday's Nextel Cup race.


Irvan hopes to have up to 10,000 people pay at least $100 per person to walk around the speedway with him and active NASCAR drivers. Similar events will be added at other NASCAR sites next year.


Swervin' Ernie Irvan, a Californian with a home in North Carolina, was one of the Winston Cup circuit's most popular drivers in the early 1990s. He won 12 races from 1990 through 1994, highlighted by the 1991 Daytona 500.

But his career changed forever on Aug. 20, 1994, during a practice run at Michigan.


Irvan slammed into the wall on a turn and was knocked unconscious with a traumatic brain injury, skull fracture and chest injuries. One of the first people to reach the car was speedway doctor John Maino, whom Irvan credits with saving his life.


"It was only a matter of time before I was going to drown in my own blood," Irvan said, with Maino seated at his side in a Michigan Speedway suite.


Realizing that Irvan wasn't getting oxygen, Maino slit the driver's throat and inserted a tube to get him some air. Irvan was on a helicopter and headed to a hospital just 23 minutes after hitting the wall, a quick response that aided his eventual recovery.


Doctors initially gave him only a 10 percent chance of survival. But Irvan defied the odds and returned to racing in 1995. He won two races in 1996 and was first at Michigan in 1997, saying he had conquered the speedway that nearly conquered him.


But Irvan hit the wall again at Michigan in 1999 -- exactly five years to the day after his first traumatic accident -- and had another head injury. He retired soon afterward.


His wife, Kim, said he was like a cat with nine lives -- and had used up eight of them.


Michael Dabbs, president of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, is thrilled by Irvan's choice of a new career.

"Ernie is willing to step forward and be a leader in this movement, and that is a tremendous benefit," Dabbs said. "We have got to raise awareness about this issue."


Doctors initially gave him only a 10 percent chance of survival. But Irvan defied the odds and returned to racing in 1995. He won two races in 1996 and was first at Michigan in 1997, saying he had conquered the speedway that nearly conquered him.


But Irvan hit the wall again at Michigan in 1999 -- exactly five years to the day after his first traumatic accident -- and had another head injury. He retired soon afterward.


His wife, Kim, said he was like a cat with nine lives -- and had used up eight of them.


Michael Dabbs, president of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, is thrilled by Irvan's choice of a new career.

"Ernie is willing to step forward and be a leader in this movement, and that is a tremendous benefit," Dabbs said. "We have got to raise awareness about this issue."


Gary Busey Actor & Comedia, suffered a brain injury from a motorcycle accident.

No one knows better than Gary Busey that life's road takes unexpected turns. "I had a nearly fatal motorcycle accident on Dec. 4, 1988," says the actor and musician. "And almost no one expected me to recover."

But Busey was able to come back from the brink, and today he says he's compelled to spread his message of caution. "I want people to understand that life is very important. And that if you're riding a motorcycle, skateboard, or bicycle without a helmet, you're challenging the face of death."


Riding without a helmet is a gamble everyone is bound to lose, sooner or later, he says. "When the odds finally catch up with you, fate will steal your life and the hearts of everyone who loves you."


Busey had just picked up his bike at a repair shop when he slid on a patch of gravel at 40 mph, flipped over the handlebars, and hit his unprotected head on a curb.


"I landed at the feet of a police officer and was rushed to an emergency room with a hole in my head the size of a half dollar," he says.


Doctors subsequently told Busey that had he arrived even three minutes later, he would not have survived. As it was, Busey fell into a coma for over four weeks, while family and friends stood by his side.


"I remember being aware of only two things during that ordeal," says Busey. "The first was that I entered and returned from a spiritual realm, and that experience has been the foundation of my faith ever since. The second, and equally important experience was feeling the healing love and support of the people who surrounded me."

Busey regained consciousness on Jan. 6, 1989, and although heavily medicated, his will to live and recover surfaced almost immediately. And to the astonishment of the medical staff, Busey left the hospital under his own power only five weeks later.


After a period of recuperation and rehabilitation, Busey returned to his film career and has since worked continuously as an advocate for traumatic injury treatment and prevention.



George Clooney Actor,recevied a brain injury while filming the movie Syriana.

George Clooney on the injury that threatened his career

19 February 2006
By John Millar

FILM heart-throb George Clooney is enjoying the best year of his career.


He's already won a clutch of awards, including a Golden Globe, for his performance in political thriller Syriana.

Tonight he's in the running for more glory at the Bafta awards in London and next month he's up for several Oscars.


But all of this has come with a painful price - and he has the scars to prove it.


Looking slim, fit and tanned George 44, pulls down the collar of his shirt to reveal a vivid scar.


He told me: "That starts from the top of my neck and goes all the way down to the base of my spine."


The scar is a legacy of an accident during the filming of Syriana in which George plays a CIA agent caught up in a complex plot involving global greed and corruption, oil intrigue in the Middle East and terrorism.


He tore the dura - the membrane that surrounds the spine and brain and holds in the spinal fluid.


This caused excruciating pain which he says was like having a "severe ice cream brain freeze that lasted 24 hours a day". After being examined by a specialist he had to have surgery - but still suffers agonising headaches.


He said: "You can't live like that. You literally can't survive like that because of the pain."


Although it is a serious and painful topic, joker George can't resist cracking a gag about his op.


He said: "They basically had to wrap my whole spine in plastic. They will dig me up in 300 years and wonder, 'What the hell is this?'"


The jokes stop when I suggest that he's gone through a life-altering experience.


"It has been big issue in my life," he admitted. "It changed everything for me. I still have to have blood patches right into my spine to try and clog up the holes... that hurts.


"Every day I still have to deal with pretty severe headaches but nothing like what it was."


Betty Clooney Foundation
Rehabilitating Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury – TBI


The Betty Clooney Foundation for Persons with Traumatic Brain Injury has been serving the needs of persons with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) since 1983. The Foundation was named in memory of Betty Clooney. Betty was Nick Clooney and Rosemary Clooney's younger sister, and the aunt of George Clooney. Betty died of a brain trauma caused by an aneurysm.



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