TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Bart Goldstein



Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Bart Goldstein 2

Bart Goldstein – Survivor

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Bart Goldstein

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)

Delmar, New York, USA

3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?

My brain injury happened on December 29, 2001. I was almost 17.

4. How did your brain injury occur?

I was riding with friends in an auto, and we had an accident. I was in the back seat. We were just teenagers clowning around. There were no drugs or alcohol.

5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?

I was in a coma after the accident.

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?

I was airlifted to emergency surgery. Later I was given a trache and a G-peg (feeding tube inserted directly into the stomach by percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy).

7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?

Yes. I was in a coma for a month.

8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient or outpatient and occupational and/or physical and/or speech and/or other)? How long were you in rehab?

Bart Goldstein & Dog

Bart Goldstein – Survivor

I had speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy as an inpatient for three months at Helen Hayes Hospital. Then I had five more months of therapy as an outpatient at the hospital.

9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury
(e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?

I have problems with walking, my speaking sensibly, control of anger, partial blindness, and memory.

10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?

I am much more of a planner now than I was prior to accident. An article, “The Journey Back,” from Brain Injury Awareness Month a couple of years ago answers this question and most of the others: http://spotlightnews.com/uncategorized/2014/03/20/journey-back/

11. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?

See the Spotlight article (address given in the answer to the question 10).

12. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?

See the Spotlight article (address given in the answer to the question 10).

13. What do you like least about your brain injury?

See the Spotlight article (address given in the answer to the question 10).

14. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?

I’ve been helped by my Christian faith, my parents, and my sense of humor.

15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

See the Spotlight article (address given in the answer to the question 10).

16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?

See the Spotlight article (address given in the answer to the question 10).

17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?

My folks are my main caregivers. Caregiving takes a lot of love and more.

Bart & Joel Goldstein

Bart Goldstein – Survivor with Father, Joel Goldstein (author of “No Stone Unturned”)

18. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

I hope to continue to heal and to find a good woman and settle down.

19. Are you able to provide a helpful hint that may have taken you a long time to learn, but which you wished you had known earlier? If so, please state what it is to potentially help other survivors with your specific kind of brain injury.

Learn patience. It’s a long haul.

20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Keep your faith and your sense of humor. Try alternative therapies.


(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)

If you would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please go to TBI Survivor Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)


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