Thank you for visiting. This cause is very dear to me, and I'll appreciate all the support I can get! Together we can make a difference! Best - Aimee
August 9, 2017, changed my life forever and it only took one second. Up until then, I achieved two Masters Degrees in International Communications and Social Work at American University School of International Services and at New York University. I worked at the World Bank empowering women and children in third world countries, internationally and domestically for the United States Government and as a psychotherapist on a crisis team. I was about to open up my own practice and embark on motherhood.
While driving home from work, a car hit mine at approximately 65 MPH. I am not sure how I survived, and for a while I questioned why. After much contemplation and soul searching, I realized I wanted to reach out and help as many people as I could, so that they never feel as lonely and helpless as I once did. Once Post-Concussion Syndrome set in, I could no longer talk, read, write, walk, or see. The amount of pain both physically and emotionally was sometimes unbearable. My short and long term memory was severely impaired. Instead of working as a clinician, I found myself in rehabilitation, learning how to walk, read, write, see, and remember.
From the very beginning, my mother was an amazing source of support. She was empathetic to my situation, but she could never understand how I felt.
During an appointment with my neurologist, Dr. Etienne MD, MPH, I mentioned that I would like to start a support group. To my surprise, even in the state I was in, he was able to see my positive attributes and not my disabilities and agreed to partner with me. Our support group launched in 2018 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern New York. There are approximately 20 individuals who regularly attend. In addition, clinicians who specialize in the therapeutic treatment of traumatic brain injury attend our brain injury group to provide and share their knowledge for best practice and healing.
The support group aims to provide brain injury survivors with a supportive environment to share their stories, learn coping skills, and develop new friendships in a safe environment. Attendees also receive information on the latest traumatic brain injury trends and information.
The Brain Injury Association of New York State has been instrumental in providing me with the support I needed to cope with my injury as well as connecting me to many resources. Specifically, Laleene Ali, CBIS, has gone out of her way to check on my well-being and provides me with resources within the community to assist with the development and maintenance of the support group. I am proud to say this support group is now BIANYS affiliated.