Many of us cannot fathom the idea of a loved one of friend suffering from a brain injury. But for friends and family of an estimated 1.7 million people each year, this is a reality. June Barrett, a Tennessee native, become all too familiar with this number when her 14 year-old daughter suffered from a traumatic brain injury after a car accident.
Barrett was a teacher, nutritionist, and later, a real estate developer when her daughter was in her accident. “I saw that there were no facilities that really had what they needed. I saw so many people like my daughter that did not have the services that they needed. So I said we were going to start a rehab center.”
Because of her involvement in her community, Barrett was able to leverage support from many people. A building was donated, land was offered and funds slowly trickled in after much work. Barrett gave up her career and devoted herself full time to the founding of The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center. “I felt I had a calling from God to do this,” she explains.
Barrett worked tirelessly writing, grants, reaching out to community leaders and organizing fundraising events to build The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center. Because of her work, the center was able to meet the needs of patients from all over the United States. But eventually, the program outgrew its original building. After more grant writing and fundraising, The Crumley House was able to build a $3 million residential building. The residential building houses 25 residents. Another 10-20 patients come in during the day to receive care and rehabilitation.
The people that come to The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center are given a second chance. “We have put hundreds of people back to work. Maybe not in the jobs they would have had before their injury, but try to place them in places that will interest them.” The program treats its patients as individuals because everyone has different needs and levels of disability. They work to create a family-like atmosphere for the patients. Barrett and all of those working at The Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center strive to make their patients feel self-worth. Barrett explains, “What they need is someone to love them and to care.”
Today, its day program offers classes in academic learning, computer training, physical training, household management, budgeting skills and personal hygiene. Those in residential living receive 24/7 care. In the past decade, Crumley House has served over 3,000 brain injured members and their families in nine Tennessee counties.
“It’s so rewarding to see these people get a second chance. Just to see the projects come together is rewarding. That’s what it’s all about,” Barrett describes. “You cannot imagine how rewarding it all is.” Barrett goes on to share how all the volunteers involved feel so touched and are greatly rewarded by helping make the patients’ lives happier.
If you know someone like June Barrett who took matters into their own hands, nominate them today for the Daily Point of Light Award at http://www.pointsoflight.org/programs/recognition/dpol/nomination