Last night, I attended the premiere of documentary, "Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones," followed by a Q&A with the family, therapists, and friends involved during Page's 21-years-and-ongoing recovery. Page Jones is the son of the legendary racecar driver Parnelli Jones and was an accomplished racecar driver himself. Page sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) after crashing violently during a race when he was only 22 years old. He was in the hospital for 3 months with intense therapy, after which he was sent home. However, recovery was not at all finished yet, and thankfully, his family knew this as well. Page was able to attend 21 more years of therapy at top notch institutions and therapy clinics, including an entire year at the renowned Rusk Institute in New York. This documentary is a combination of clips that family members have taken of Page Jones when he was healthy and during his recovery, as well as excerpts from the different therapists and doctors that worked with the Jones family. Page was also blessed enough to have one heck of a caregiver, called Iggy, who has stayed with him for the past 21 years, including that entire year when Page relocated to New York.
Page went from wheelchair bound, minimally responsive to family and friends, instinctually chewing holes through the collars of all his T-shirts, and swearing profusely to a husband, a father of two young children, and a driver! Today, Page continues to work on fall prevention and memory in therapy.
According to the CDC, there are an estimated 1.7 million people who sustain a TBI, and of these people, 52,000 die, and 80% are treated in the emergency department and released. After being released, therapy services are highly recommended, but insurance will only pay for a limited amount of time. And as we can see from this documentary, there is so much progress that can be achieved many years after the injury due to the brain's ability to regenerate connections, aka neuroplasticity. Not everybody is as privileged as the Jones family, who paid for the 18-19 years of extra treatments out of their own pockets and through the help of the Brain Injury Association of America.
To help make a small contribution to helping those families who have a family member recovering from a TBI, please watch this documentary! It will be showing at the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena until 10/8/15, after which they will be moving to NYC.
To make donations, visit http://godspeedpj.com/
For those families out there with a family member who sustained a severe injury or is suffering from a chronic disease and have exhausted insurance-paid therapy, look up therapy clinics or private practitioners, such as myself, in your area who accept private pay. Therapy can be lifelong, with lifelong benefits entire families. Help your loved one today!