Survivors/Caregivers SPEAK OUT!
Cyndy Davy Feasel, wife of Grant Feasel
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
Note: This interview is by Cyndy Feasel, the wife of Grant Feasel, who died of brain disease obtained from playing football. Some answers apply to Cyndy, and some, to Grant. I have made it obvious to whom the answer applies.
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
My name is Cyndy Davy Feasel, wife of Grant Feasel, who succumbed to brain disease.
2.Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)
Ft. Worth, Texas, USA
3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?
There was no single event that was responsible for Grant’s brain injury. It occurred from years of playing football. Concussions had a role.
4. How did your brain injury occur?
Playing football (See the answer to the previous question.)
5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?
We knew Grant had a problem about age 40.
6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
None. Grant used drugs and alcohol to numb the pain.
7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?
Grant was never in a coma.
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?
9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?
Grant had some speech difficulties. He stuttered often and repeated himself as the CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) worsened. Grant also had problems with his vision and balance. His personality changed over the years. He had difficulty thinking and completing tasks. He showed impulsive behavior, irritability, and aggression towards me!
10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?
11. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?
Cyndy: I miss my normal family life.
12. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?
13. What do you like least about your brain injury?
Cyndy: Grant died in 2012. I miss who he was when we met in 1982.
14. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?
Cyndy: Raising awareness is helping to ease the pain of a lost life.
15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
Cyndy: My family was destroyed.
16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
Cyndy: I was sad for years about the life I lost in the midst of Grant’s brain damage.
17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?
18. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
Cyndy: I intend to be an advocate who increases awareness about concussions and brain injury.
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.
Cyndy: Educate yourself! Please ask your doctor for his or her opinion about your child’s safety before your child plays a head-banging sport.
20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Cyndy: Seek knowledge! Find a group for support.
(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 SPEAK OUT! Caregiver Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.
(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)
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