In every part of this series so far, we have discussed emerging high-tech solutions to accident prevention and treatment. Technology always seems to imply a harmony of software and hardware that requires teams of engineers and programmers to design, build, and implement. However, just because a new idea doesn’t require a computer doesn’t mean it can’t have the same impact.
One of the most disturbing effects of traumatic brain injury is that it can leave your perception of the world around you permanently damaged. Therapies can help your memory, motor skills and cognition, but many victims of TBI struggle with smaller problems for the rest of their lives.
Life can change in an instant
Liz Renner was struck by a pick-up truck while crossing the street nearly 16 years ago. The accident broke her back and hip, and left her with a permanent brain injury. She told WDay6 ABC, “Waking up with a brain injury is one of the most bewildering and disconcerting things you could experience. Things that you once took for granted are a major struggle. Things that you once used to take for granted you now have to relearn. Your old strengths can now be one of your biggest weaknesses.”
Before the accident, Renner worked as a lab technician. After her recovery, she discovered that her hand-eye coordination had been severely compromised. She struggled to perform common tasks, like inserting a key into a lock. Needless to say, this new difficulty made her unable to return to her chosen career.
Brilliant solutions are often simple solutions
Dr. Amy Chang has been working with wounded warriors for years. She created the first vision rehabilitation clinic in the U.S. Army, and she has taken that experience with her into the public sector. Dr. Chang discovered that brain injuries can create “a disconnect between how your are processing your peripheral vision and how it’s being integrated for you to maintain your balance.”
Working with this information, Dr. Chang created glasses with prisms integrated in to the lenses. She explains, “The prisms correct a mismatch between the eyes and the balance system, and restores the balance. And like in Elizabeth’s case, it improved her balance, her ability to walk more smoothly. She felt it was more natural.”
Dr. Chang works at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minnesota. Her methods are literally changing the way that victims of TBI see the world. Renner said of her new glasses, “I hadn’t noticed there was something wrong because it had been so long since my injury… I got these glasses and all of a sudden I’m walking better.”
Hope is out there. American innovation pushes the creation of technological solutions to everyday problems. Our world is becoming a safer place because of the efforts of researchers and innovators around the globe. The state of the world around is, mundane though it seems, is incredible. Our future is even brighter.
Until we get there, everyone needs a little help from time to time. When you need us, the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm will be there for you. We will protect you. We will fight for your rights with the compassion and dedication that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced brain injury attorney at our offices in Nashville, Gallatin or Knoxville.