The F.B.I. Experience from the Eyes of a New Volunteer

As an aspiring physician, I was excited about the opportunity to attend F.B.I. and volunteer with B.R.A.I.N. to get insight into the “other side” of brain injuries . . . the road to recovery.  I have been truly touched and inspired by how resilient and strong so many of the people I have met at F.B.I. are and how much hope they have.  So many of the people I have met are willing to share their stories with me, providing me valuable knowledge and experience that I know I will take with me when I become a physician.  I will take with me their stories of when doctors thought no more progress could be made, but they exceeded all expectations; when the diagnosis was grim, and they defied predicted outcomes.  I will especially remember the cases where the doctors fell short, yet the survivor forges on despite the odds.  I am gaining valuable knowledge about the many facets of brain injury and patient care beyond the acute stage.

The survivors and volunteers at B.R.A.I.N. have inspired me to bring skill, hope, and care into my future profession and be the type of doctor that does everything possible to help the survivor and listen to the people who are involved in the every day struggle of healing.  F.B.I. is a caring, family-like community that gives tangible answers and hands-on solutions to those who may feel discouraged when dealing with the struggle that is a brain injury.  For example, B.R.A.I.N. sends teams of people, who have been through the brain trauma experience and know firsthand the progress that can be made through support and therapy, to visit those in the hospital.  They bring hope, awareness, and anecdotal evidence to guide these folks on their path to regaining brain function.  One thing I really love about the F.B.I. meetings is the feeling that no one is alone and there is a community of friends that support one another, have fun, and are just there for each other.

-Samantha Gardner

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