DCoE Blog

  • Veteran Recovers from TBI with Help from Adaptive Sports, Family
    Veterans at Warrior Games
    Image courtesy of A Head for the Future

    There are different treatment paths and activities that help someone recover from traumatic brain injury (TBI). In searching for what works, some veterans learn a new skill or find a new passion. A Head for the Future spotlights a veteran who uses adaptive sports and family support to help in recovery.

    When Air Force veteran Tech. Sgt. Krys Bowman returned home from another deployment, his wife, Lacey, noticed changes. Addressing those changes resulted in a new way for Krys to give back and to get involved.

  • Former Sailor Experiences a Different Kind of TBI
    Photo courtesy of Jasmine Twine

    Jasmine Twine was stationed in Newport News, Virginia, when she started to notice that some things were off.

    “The shipyard had a lot of fumes, so when I started to have vision problems and headaches I thought it was due to that,” she said.

    Doctors first prescribed Jasmine new glasses and medication, but when she started having debilitating headaches, they ordered a CT scan of her brain. The scan revealed an urgent condition: a cyst on her brain that required surgery. Complications from the removal of the cyst resulted in an acquired traumatic brain injury (TBI).

    Jasmine learned that whether TBI is acquired or results from a blow or jolt to the head, the symptoms and treatment are similar.

  • TBI Champion Recovers from 50-Foot Fall with Support from Family, Friends

    In 2014, Regina and Jim Woodside received an urgent call from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Their son, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Colin Woodside, was in the emergency room after falling 50 feet while he was rock climbing. Although Colin always wore a helmet while climbing, he took it off this time to retrieve gear at the top of the cliff. The doctors said he had sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) and was unresponsive — but alive.

    Regina and Jim were on the next available flight out of San Diego. “We didn’t know if he would ever walk again. We didn’t know if he would talk again…,” Regina remembers. “There was a wonderful doctor in the emergency room, and he said, ‘It’s going to be a while, but he’s going to recover.’”

  • TBI Diagnosis Helped Save a Family
    Read the full story: TBI Diagnosis Helped Save a Family

    In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are featuring the stories of people who experienced brain injuries and recovered. In this post from A Head for the Future, Brian O’Rourke didn’t realize he had a brain injury until loved ones persuaded him to get help. A video about O’Rourke’s brain injury experience is available on the A Head for the Future web page.

    Service members, veterans and their families may carry the stress and confusion of living with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) long before it is diagnosed. Often, family members and friends are the first to notice the signs and symptoms of a TBI and urge their loved one to seek help. Retired Navy SEAL Brian O’Rourke spent months in denial, experiencing behavior changes and having trouble sleeping, before his family and friends persuaded him to find the support that led to his TBI diagnosis.

    O’Rourke and his wife, Tammy, share the story of the challenges in their marriage and family life before Brian sought treatment for his symptoms, which included insomnia, irritability and anxiety.

  • DCoE Director on Preventing Head Injuries

    This story by Capt. Mike Colston, director of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, is reposted from the Military Health System, where it ran as part of the Motivational Monday series.

    Our military community is active. Not only do the armed forces emphasize fitness, but sports are a personal passion for a lot of us, whether riding a bike or motorcycle, playing on a team or competing in extreme sports.

    We’ve all heard about traumatic brain injuries (TBI) caused by blast events. But, battlefield injuries aren’t the reason for most military TBIs; the most common causes are motor vehicle crashes and falls.

  • Veteran Helps Fellow Service Members with Brain Injury Care

    In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we are featuring the stories of people who experienced brain injuries and recovered. In this post from A Head for the Future, Randy Gross sustained numerous brain injuries and learned to take precautions. A video about Gross’ brain injury experience is available from A Head for the Future.

    When he was 23, former Army Staff Sgt. Randy Gross was riding in a Jeep with his friends. The top was down and his seat belt was off.

    “We weren’t going very fast, so I wasn’t that concerned about it,” Gross said.

    But then, the unexpected happened.