Traumatic Head Injuries

Traumatic Head Injuries

12/6/18 Endowed TBI Chair DR Geoffrey Manley

Welcome! My name is Margaret Liu Collins.

Thank you for coming to honor Dr. Geoffrey Manley and the initiative to deliver better care to survivors of (Traumatic Brain Injury) TBI. The impact of TBI is devastating not only to the survivors but also the family, friends and people come into contact with the survivor. They are all deeply affected as they try to understand how to help the survivor, to recover and communicate with the survivor in a constructive way.

Before I begin my speech, I like to express —-My sincere gratitude to UCSF renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Peter Sun for facilitating tonight’s appearance of DR. Geoffrey Manley. Will you please stand and let us give him a round of applause.

I am elated by tonight’s fantastic turn out.

I have a son, Sam who is a survivor of TBI and so this is an issue that is very close to my family’s heart. We have lived with agony of his trying to recover, unable to achieve his goals, and have lived with frustration trying to help and being rejected. Unceasing, never-ending desperation for recovery.

Prior to Samuel’s accident, he had a very high IQ of 160! He even finished second and third grade in a single year! By fourth grade he was trading stocks. Sam was a true whiz kid: excellent in math and popular among his fellow students, their parents, his teachers, our friends and family.

When Sam was 11, he was hit by a drunk driver in a van with no insurance on his way home from school. Sam was thrown 10 feet in the air and when he landed, his skull smashed in to the road’s middle partition.

He suffered severe TBI, in particular to his brain stem and his frontal lobes. He also experienced severe internal bleeding. We were told he would not survive the night. We prayed and God answered our prayers and supernaturally intervened and he survived the night.  However, he was unresponsive to any stimulus. He went into a coma.  He could not see, hear, talk … About 15 days into his coma, I was told the most discouraging thing by a neurologist: He said that I did not need to spend so much time in the hospital, as Sam was virtually guaranteed, to not wake up. Well with much prayer, after 30 days. He did wake up. And the doctors were astonished. Yet more bad news from the doctors: They predicted Sam would be a vegetable and spend all the rest of his days confined to a wheelchair

Indeed, when he first woke, things did look rather bleak. He could neither see, talk, walk or eat. Family, Friends and Members from our church came to the hospital and prayed for his speedy recovery. God was gracious. Again, He heard our prayers and He intervened.

With intense, speech, occupational, and physical therapies, miraculously Sam recovered. Sam was discharged after a month of such therapies.    The following month, he was even invited to attend a neurological conference. they taunted him as a living miracle. And we thought, Well, he is on his way to a good and stable life.

When the hospital discharged Sam, no follow-up was scheduled. We were issued only a simple statement” You will find him a bit different from before”

To be certain, those words proved themselves to be true and what an understatement: Time and again We had no clue the challenges that lay ahead

When Sam graduated from USC in three years with a BS in international business and went on to attain 2 MBA degrees from china’s top universities – Jiaotung and Tsinghua.  We were positively elated.  A remarkable achievement. He did not lose his ability to study, analyze complex issues. It was confirmation that the beautiful brain with which Samuel had been born, although injured in his childhood had gone on to restore its intellectual capacity.

As of now, Sam lives independently in Shanghai for the past 15 years.  According to Dr Manley, who visited Sam with Ted, my husband last year told us that the odds of that result occurring were only 1%. In cases of TBI as severe as Sam, only 10 % survive at all.  We are indeed thankful for his comments as our hearts are filled with gratitude for God’s miraculous healing power.

Which is not to say that all has been easy and effortless for Sam. Quite to the contrary, it has been a struggle both for him and for us, his family. the lack of follow-up left us with so many blind spots. Sam had maintained his intelligence, but not his executive function and emotional well-being. He had short fuses, easily frustrated. To this day, his speech is unrestrained and loud in volume. His emotions are difficult for him to control. When it comes to understanding another person’s opinion, he experiences a major blockage.

For 15 years I attended family support groups and neurological seminars and read a lot of books. Finally

we were able to find a neuropsychologist to guide us to better understand, to help and communicate with Sam.

So, I mourn for Sam, although he lives, I mourn for the loss of the life he could have had. I mourn for the bright, happy, kind hearted little boy who got badly hurt one day and got up but never rose up.

On daily basis, I pray for Sam. Indeed, I pray for him moment – to moment, in my heart. I wish for God, always to protect him, guide him, while guiding us toward the wisdom and compassion to love and help him fully .

Many of you here tonight know full well of the struggles and pain of which I speak.

Meanwhile as a mother, I can still see My Sam through a very clear set of eyes. I still see his huge heart. I still see his fundamentally generous nature. He wishes so fervently to make a difference in the world, yet the damage to the frontal lobes has greatly impacted his life on every level, from socializing to working to staying organized and executing plans.

I had no choice but to turn my own pain over Sam’s TBI into good. As such I am a fierce advocate for those who’ve experienced TBI, be they as survivors, or as family members and other loved ones surrounding the patient. I hope that anyone who walked in here tonight as something other than an advocate is able to at least consider leaving as one.

I see this endowed chair as a powerful tool. We are honored bound to use it fully. We must attract and train the next generation of leaders in the TBI field, not only here in the US, but around the world. UCSF has an invaluable opportunity to enhance the state of education, research, knowledge creation and best practices around TBI care, and most important of all – TBI follow – up care.

On that very note. It is my utmost honor and pleasure to endow this TBI professorship to DR Manley.  Dr.  Manley: people like my son, me, and our family count on people like you. Your talent, your skill, your expertise, your dedication, your compassion  and of course your brilliant brain. Indeed, anybody whose brain is healthy must have gratitude. Without further ado, I like to invite Dr.  Talmage King to the podium to facilitate this endowed chair process .