Some of the most influential advocates for brain injury survivors are medical professionals with personal life experiences of living through brain injury. One such activist is Dr. Martin “Tony” Zink III, a cardiologist in Overland Park, Kansas. For 9 of the 20 years since the motor vehicle accident that changed his life, Dr. Zink has served 6 years on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, and 3 more years on the board of the Brain Injury Association of America. In a recent contribution to MedPage, Dr. Zink shares his personal and professional journey of recovery from his encounter with an ambulance at an Atlanta intersection, just 3 months into his medical residency program. An added irony is how this life altering event brought him into the very same medical environment as a patient in which 25 minutes earlier he was a practicing part. I admire the detail and self perception of his cognitive and physical abilities versus what was real at various stages of his process of recovery. Reading his experience reinforces the importance of having a strong person who the survivor can trust in the recovery process. His “Lessons for Others” at the end of his story can serve as a carry along reminder to anyone who embraces brain injury survivors.
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