This past week, I attended the Brain Injury Summit in Lexington, KY, sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of Kentucky. The keynote speaker, Dr. Carlton Cash, provided a very human, candid perspective on what it means to be a professional and a brain injury survivor. Despite serious physical impairments, Dr. Cash continues to make remarkable gains, as both a doctor and a survivor.
While at the conference, I had the pleasure of meeting professionals with Our Lady of Peace, a psychiatric hospital in Louisville, which has a brain injury neurobehavioral program for ages 10-18. It’s one of the few state resources equipped to handle the needs of young TBI survivors.
The problem of pediatric TBI is a significant one. TBI is the leading cause of death for children and young adults–in fact, one million American children will sustain a head injury this year, and of those, 165,000 will be hospitalized. With such a gross inadequacy of brain injury beds for children, we can only assume that their predicament is just as dire as that of adults–if not moreso.