I’m really on a high right now.. To have been able to meet leading neurologists and to help future ones see a live example of brain injury recovery was an unbelievable honor. This makes history for me, undeniably.
Dr. Brian Edlow, research fellow at Harvard Medical School, was a huge factor and player in my neuro-critical care while I was in the coma in 2006. His passion and remarkably caring actions as a medical student at the University of Pennsylvania medical school helped my parents stay calm and sane and informed throughout my 14-day return to consciousness. And the final puzzle-piece: Brian’s decision to continue with brain injury research was sparked by the journey that he himself watched me undergo to return to life. His relationship with my present life runs deep. I don’t know how much more I could have asked for.
Wait.. I only met Brian a few hours ago?!? We spoke a number of times on the phone before today, but now the puzzle pieces have finally shifted into place. And hey, he’d already looked into my skull (by means of MRI) so that’s a step in the right direction!
Weeks ago, Brian invited me to speak to medical students as part of a lecture series about traumatic brain injuries. I didn’t hesitate for a moment to reply ‘yes!’. We had a few lengthy phone conversations about anything and everything, and before I knew it, I was in the conference room at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA. This was, of course, after we added on a short talk that I’d do at the hospital’s highly-acclaimed ‘morning meeting’! I would be speaking with some of the most renowned neurologists in the world. Seriously!
Okay so enough lead-up… My trip has been historical. After driving 5.5 hours through the night with my remarkable parents, we arrived at BWH around 6:45am. Parked the car, walked in, and prepared for the unknown. During morning meeting, I met and made a bunch of doctors smile. They asked questions, and Brian led them to see that there IS hope for survivors in comas. I loved how my parents could be a part of the conversation.
Right after, at 8am, we all walked to the lecture/seminar that was with 3rd-year medical students. Brian had prefaced this second talk appropriately; the students will likely remember my story fir the rest of their careers! They all implied that upon seeing my scans last week, they didn’t have high hopes. And after the preface the Brian gave, I wouldn’t have either. All of the students had excellent points and questions. I’m so glad I could end my yapping by suggesting that the new doctors be highly self-reflective, they got it!
Brian will be a lifelong friend. And if you watched my seminar, message me! Thank You everyone!