TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury

Jenni Palczynski (survivor)

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.


Jenni Palczynski (survivor)

Jenni Palczyinski 2

Jenni Palczynski – Brain Injury Survivor

Before my stroke, I was a medical malpractice litigation defense paralegal, which I loved. After my stroke, my doctor was nice enough to “prescribe” my pets – a dog and a cat – as “therapy animals.” However, because of my living arrangements, I could not keep them with me for two years, and they had to go into foster care until I was able to get a place of my own. My dog was placed with a family-friend, and my cat took up residence at an animal clinic owned by a close friend of my cousin. They stayed in foster care for two years. During that time, my cat developed fatty-liver disease. Before Christmas two years ago, we thought we were going to have to put him down. But, like his mama, he is a fighter! Because of his being placed where he was, the vet there caught the disease early, and we were able to save him. He is back to being 100% healthy. But during the time he was sick, on the advice of the vet, I would spend several days a week visiting him. He improved so much more when I was there with him.

After all that time, I got to know the vet and the staff at the clinic so well that I started volunteering time – going in and visiting other clinic animals. The animals were placed there and were looking for homes, or the animals were sick, or they had been boarded there by their parents. We soon realized that, by having me around talking to them and loving them as my own, they would also improve.

So, rather than doing a job that I had learned to love over the years, I now volunteer at the clinic tending to their animals. I have gotten to see them get better, and I have even seen some get adopted into permanent homes. If you asked me while I was growing up what I wanted to do,

Jenni Palczyinski

Jenni Palczynski – Brain Injury Survivor

I said it was to become a veterinarian because of my love of animals. Now I have found that my purpose is to give love to those animals, to see them move on to the next chapter in their life, like I am. Other than to see my kids grow up, my new purpose in life is to give love and care to animals in need. It is definitely very rewarding, and it has given me new life-long friends in the process. I also have finally moved into my own apartment, where my dog and cat are spoiled rotten, but they give me all the unconditional love I could ever want or need. It has taken me five years, but I love my volunteer-work in addition to my still being a single-mom to my youngest son (age 16), who is now also back living with me. Life is good.dog_cat_dancing



(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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Comments on: "SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . Jenni Palczynski (survivor)" (8)

  1. It was so nice that you did not let the stroke end your life as a working woman. It did change your life, and you started working with other animals, helping them find homes. You had it in you when you got your pets, and they helped you through your injury.
    I struggle to see your injury, you have accomplished so much. Continued success in your job, your life. You are doing what we all want to do through our brain injuries, success in life and a rewarding job. A big congrats to you Jenni!


  2. Thank you for sharing!! I’m glad you found joy again!


  3. Thank you I am navigating a post TBI life and finding it challenging. I appreciate your insight and your path is inspirational.


  4. I have been living with my injury for 13 years completely alone and on my own. First 7years unknown to me and family. And lost everything dew to it. My angzity prevent me from doctors and factory medicine. And this past year had been hard on my soul. I’m isolated my self. And antisocal forceing myself outside twice a day mostly at night to avoid people. Last week my hipocampus released 21 years of episodic memories cristal clear feelings smells context pain it’s so overwhelming I’m finding it hard to function and selfedicating to remove the pain I’m feeling because there was alot of abuse I had booked out from my childhood and it all came back at once when I went to talk to family I was cast out for exsposed truths now fully alone and only 1reason to keep going because no one understands my silent Suffering and these memorys are so intense and clear it hurts so much I don’t know what to do and confused


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