In 1994, two separate people received serious traumatic brain injuries that forever altered their lives.
Michael Bethune was 22 when he was in a car accident in the fall that left him so severely brain damaged that his family was told he would never be able to speak, or understand language again.
Michelle Dunniway was in a similar accident three months later, at the age of 19, that left her physically incapacitated, and with cognitive disabilities. She was left unable to walk or speak.
These two tragic accidents brought their mothers together to create the Assisted Living Project, a nonprofit operated out of Glenwood House, a private residence that offers a more free alternative to living in nursing homes.
Unlike most long term care centers, residents have their own rooms to combat over-stimulation, and they are able to work at regaining their lost abilities, as well as reclaiming what little freedom they can in their conditions.
Mercury News has more information about the nonprofit, and how it came to be. They are half as expensive for residents as typical care centers are, thanks to large donations. Those with severe TBI might not be able to completely return to their old lives, but this at least gives them some independence.