While each and every brain injury is unique, the goal of Minds Matter is the same – to collaborate with individuals so they can live independently and create meaningful connections in their community.
Our team of experts listens, understands and responds so you can live your life, your way.
Below are a few of our stories.
My story started when I was 12 years old. I was on my 10 speed going down a big hill and lost my brakes and hit a car head on. After hitting the windshield, I was thrown over the top of the car and landed with my face slamming into the pavement. About five years later I had another head injury when I was hit in the head with a brick by some neighborhood teenagers who threw it over a house. The brick left a nice goose-egg on my head. My most recent TBI was around 2005. I was in the driveway between my home and my neighbor’s home. Some roofing material slid off of my neighbor’s roof and hit me on the head. I didn’t realize how badly I was hurt, so I attended a BBQ at my niece’s house. My niece noticed my behavioral was different and encouraged me to go to a mental hospital. I spent two to three weeks at the mental hospital and realized that I didn’t need to be there; I got hurt and had an injury. As a result of the accident, my behavior was weird. I contacted my social worker who talked with my doctor. I was ordered to go to the hospital and the emergency department gave me a CT scan. The scan didn’t show any bleeding in my head.
My problems with judgment and memory continued and I eventually ended up at KU Med for additional testing. The doctors identified a slow bleed within my brain. Home health would come provide services to me, but it wasn’t enough. I was out of it. I wouldn’t stay home or stay put. I wandered down Interstate 635, playing in the highway, and got into all kinds of predicaments. I was always getting lost wandering the streets at night and sleeping in yards and on front porches. I was a mess.
I couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. I was scared an all alone. I didn’t know how to get any help, and I had never heard of the TBI waiver. Then, I was telling a neighbor about what was happening with me and the neighbor hooked me up with services. Though I was previously with two other agencies for therapy, I stopped services with each due to the quality of care I was receiving. I started looking for a better provider for consumers on the TBI waiver. I had heard good things about communityworks, which became Minds Matter. I received services from a great team of TLS, cognitive therapists, physical therapists, and a team leader. I know what I need when I need it. And I have a great plan of care. The staff is helping me relearn things such as math, spelling, and behavior management. I have learned how to take care of myself and how to start living again, as well as manage my doctor’s appointments and medications. Minds Matter has motivated me to get out of bed and join the world again. I’ve also learned to care for myself and that there is a lot to explore in the community I live in – which I’m excited to be participating in again.
I’m glad Janet started a company that looks out and cares for people with traumatic brain injuries. I’m happy the staff is there to encourage me to start living again. Now I want to help people with brain injuries. Because I have been through it, I think I could shine and help someone that feels alone, scared, and unsure of what direction their life is heading.
“Minds Matter set me up with therapists to improve my speech impediments and now I’m working with a Cognitive Therapist. With funding from Kansas Rehabilitation Services, I’m attending computer classes at KU helping me to express myself through writing and social connections, especially getting to know my six children and the grandkids I’ve never previously met. With the help of a Transitional Living Skills coach, I’m making my limited budget work and meet my obligations. Recently, I was diagnosed with diabetes. The Minds Matter team hooked me up with a government program to get me my meals. Before that, I’d sometimes go three days without eating. Thanks to their staff, I’ve got self-confidence and feel proud of what I can do. I’ve got myself back.”
Bob likes to think of himself as a 60-year-old Jerry Garcia, an old hippie whose life has been as turbulent as the times that shaped his youth growing up in Lawrence. Before the accident that changed the course of his life 12 years ago, Bob had bouts with drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and trouble with relationships and finances, yet he was fully capable of making a living and accounting for his actions. He was an active community volunteer, giving time and what little money he could to various causes that made him happy. Bob was working on a project for the Lawrence Public Schools when the scaffolding he was on collapsed, sending him tumbling 55 feet to the ground where he landed on his head. Until hooking up with Minds Matter, Bob’s head injuries were misdiagnosed as mental illness and treated with drug therapies that gave him seizures. He led a very lonely existence laying on the couch, drinking beer, watching Jerry Springer and feeling sorry for himself. “Within 15 minutes of my first meeting with Minds Matter, they could tell I was suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and not mental illness,” said Bob. “They connected me with the resources and funding to give me my life back. I’m working toward my goal of working with TBI patients and eventually for Minds Matter. I’m a poster boy for the success of Minds Matter.”
Victoria, Good Morning!
I would like to thank you as well as let others know about how flexible you already have been with our initial meeting on Friday. Angela is a good person and she never ever has let me down. She has bent over backwards, so to speak, in trying to accommodate my ever growing myriad of issues. She must be a fine example of a leader at Minds Matter. I am amazed at the help that I have been given since returning home.
I truly believe that if the government were to contract with Minds Matter for the veterans returning home, the future of many families, millions of people would be dramatically improved.
Just an idea, but is there a way for our deserving veterans and their families to be able to have access to Minds Matter?
This is the best help I have ever received in my 43 years on earth!
I am a proud recipient, as well as a family member of many people whom have served our country. OUr rates, drug use/abuse, homelessness, etc. are at all time record highs.
Push this email of my personal testimony through. You can save lives.