For five weeks, In the Culture of One World is proud to display A NEW BRAIN.
Regular people are presently coping with head injuries, concussions and clinical efforts to combat both traumatic and acquired brain injuries. This special edition consists of a selection of 10 real-life stories about fostering new dreams where once there were none.
Find stories about neurologists, advocates and clinical researchers who are working to make a difference.
Meet true-blue fighters — survivors rewiring their minds, re-tooling their injured bodies — and re-shaping their lives.
Find inspiration and encouragement from the ties that bind. Hear from families, spouses and close friends who continue to stand their ground — in the face of disbelief and adversity.
1 | Can the brain heal itself after an injury?
Yes, it can — “in spite of doctors,” says a Scotland–based professor Siddharthan Chandran. A regenerative neurologist walks us through some new techniques using special stem cells that could allow the damaged brain to rebuild faster.
Read about head-injured famous persons — NFL football players and popular actor George Clooney, among them.
2 | The New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning, for instance, suffered a head injury this past fall. Did you know that a specialist in nerve and muscle damage serves as the Giants’ neurologist and consultant for traumatic brain injuries, and consults for the New York Mets? Her name is Dr. Teena Shetty.
3 | George Clooney speaks of the scars he’s got which threatened his career. In 2006, 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.”
4 | Equally moving is the story of Emilia Becker, a Canadian and a brain injury survivor. After experiencing a brain injury herself, Emilia Becker decided to share her story with others to raise awareness.
5 | During the week of Thanksgiving Day in 2015, the NubianUnion of Plainfield, New Jersey worked to raise funds for a necessary advocacy program in behalf of young black men with traumatic brain injury. Interestingly, a friend asked me, “Why just young black men? Why not help everyone?”
How a husband and wife are overcoming doctors’ mistaken beliefs about surviving a traumatic brain injury
6 + 7 | “We are not alone.” That conviction guides NY composer B. Allen Schulz and his lawyer/wife Rebecca Bratspies as they track down the strangers who helped them rewrite the music of their lives.
The couple contributed two narrative accounts. In the first one, “We Are Not Alone,” Bratspies recalls her husband’s massive heart attack soon after a Pittsburgh performance of one of his own musical compositions.
The second one, “A Will to Live,” is Schulz’s first-person diary-like entry about the success of his recovery and his will to recompose a new life.
Wait. You’ve got to be kidding…. What’s food got to do with it?
8 | Brownies vs. Cookies? Okay, now. There was a fight at a hospital: Several survivors of brain injury held a bake-off in 2015. Why? To prove that they can move forward with their lives and retrain their injured heads after a concussion.
This story is a documentary-like slideshow of original photographs taken during that crazy bake-off.
So which one did you say won that crazy Bake Off at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Phase 2 community re-entry program? Our cool photographer regales us with the just desserts.
Welcome into our brand-new kitchen.
A NEW BRAIN drives this special issue of In the Culture of One World.