I hope all of you are doing excellent and following the paths that you’ve deemed best for yourself, with pride and steadfastness. After all, that’s the best that anyone can do – fight your fights, win your battles, and do it all with a smile. Yup, I said it… SMILE.
Today, I smiled really wide when I had the opportunity to have a phone conversation with Dr. Brian Edlow, an excellent neurologist and fellow at Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA. It’s amazing how when you follow your ambitions, you’re capable of rediscovering your own trails and history. Brian is another great example of this; as a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Edlow was an intern who was studying under doctors in my care at the Neurological Intensive Care Unit. As he saw me progress through the glasgow coma scale and interacted with my doctors and family, Dr. Edlow really took a liking and an interest in neurology. Fast forward to the present day, where his research, work, and publications with regards to brain imaging has led him to Harvard Medical School as a teaching fellow, he still remembers my journey through coma vividly. As do my parents of his outrageously-helpful and caring nature, which helped them survive through any number of uncertain moments where they felt like they couldn’t understand how and if I’d recover at all.
Now, Dr. Edlow acknowledges, happily and with excitement, that I’ve recovered remarkably well. So well in fact, that he’s asked me to speak to students at Harvard about the struggles and discoveries I made in the span of the five years it has been since he met me last. And yes, that was when I was comatose, on life support, with tubes and wires and a dangerously low basal resting heart rate.
So watch out, Boston! In just a few weeks, I’ll be traveling through the night to arrive in the early morning of Wednesday, September 21 at Harvard University to tell my story to a classroom of 3rd-year medical students who will hopefully catch wind of my mission and goal of spreading hope for survivors of traumatic brain injury. Boy, it will surely be different than standing at the front of my robotics classroom here in Philadelphia, PA!
I absolutely cannot wait to continue the DougTrails mission in Boston. But, sadly, my ‘rolling monster’ touring bicycle will have to stay in its ‘bedroom’ (shed) along with my 5 bicycle helmets and kayak. Until next time.
Stay safe! Wear a helmet (or 5)!