Fox news has recently reported that Randall McCloy–otherwise known as the sole surving miner from the West Virginia mining disaster–is still unaware that he is the only remaining survivor. To those of us familiar with anoxic injuries, it’s not a surprise that McCloy is suffering cognitive impairments.
McCloy’s accident happened in January and I thought the world had all but forgotten about him, as is often the case with TBI survivors. If you don’t believe me, try to find out what’s happening with Bob Woodruff, Doug Vogt, or Ariel Sharon. The media is only mirroring what happens to most survivors–attention is intense immediately after the injury, but support and interest wane to a depressing low in the months and weeks afterwards. In what should be a rallying effort by family members and friends, the rehabilitation period for many TBI survivors is a lonely and emotionally painful journey towards reclaiming a life of independence.
If you’re interested in TBI advocacy, start with the Brain Injury Association of America.