Monique & Jacques Hauss
Our son Bert was hit by a car in 1997 and suffered traumatic brain injury. After about a year in hospitals and rehabilitation centers, he continued in college and finished his BS and MS. Currently he is an engineer, married, and soon to be a father in early 2012. We experienced difficult times as caregivers, but the recovery of our son has been great and successful. As parents and ex-caregivers we are very fortunate and extremely thankful, so now our efforts are to help others to reach similar results, inform them, and support them the best we can. All together we should be able to do it.
We started with Jean and Jim [Kropa] and the Minor Brain Injury Support Group in November 1998, under the supervision at that time of Beverly at the Brain Injury Association of Georgia. The name of our group was changed for a more appropriate name, the Mild Brain Injury Support Group, since there is no Minor Brain injury and in this regard neither Mild Brain injury. What the group name means is that our members are apparently functioning pretty well and most of the time have no apparent exterior injuries, but the pains, struggles, injuries . . . are inside.
Often the "outside world" — even friends and relatives — doesn't recognize or understand our situation, but our peers and caregivers who had the same experience do. So it feels good to be together to share our problems, experiences, information, resources . . . and help each other. This is true for the survivors but also for the caregivers, who are or were also emotionally injured.
Our group attendance is averaging 25 people, but during these past 13 years we have seen several hundreds of Brain Injury Survivors and their caregivers attend our monthly meetings. We supported each other in our fights for recovery and we ALL improved and WERE or will be ABLE TO DO IT.
No two Brain Injuries are the same, but we all have or had a lot of impairments in common and need to go a long way toward improvement and recovery. For some it was relatively fast, for some it took their brains longer to adjust and compensate, but each and every one experienced significant improvement, both survivors and caregivers. Members are coming and going but the group continues its mission and everyone who suffered brain injury, who is a BI caregiver, or who just want to get information about Brain Injury is strongly encouraged to attend our meetings and be an active member and/or supporter of the Brain Injury Association of Georgia and its Support Groups.
Another organization very active in the Greater Atlanta area: the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association®, to which we've belonged since 2009. We encourage every Brain Injury survivor and their caregiver to contact the association for help or to help. It is an all-volunteer group made up of Brain Injury Survivors (the "Peers") and their caregivers, visiting over 15 major hospitals on a daily basis to meet, listen, inform, support, encourage the brain-injured and their families.