The Moss TBI Model System (TBIMS) recently caught up with Amy Curran, a MossRehab patient and research participant who sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 2013 resulting from a fall down icy stairs. Amy has participated in multiple research studies in the Brain Injury Neuropsychology Laboratory, including a study of a novel behavioral treatment for emotional problems after TBI, and a project developing a new mobile health technology to help people with TBI better follow-through with plans and achieve the goals.
Since her injury, Amy has taken time to learn to take care of herself and become as independent as possible. The clinical care that Amy received at MossRehab and research that she has participated in at MRRI have helped her on that journey. Before her injury, Amy taught middle school children with special needs, and she is now retired on disability. She currently volunteers for the Neuromuscular Disease Foundation, a non-profit agency whose mission is to improve the lives of individuals with GNE myopathy, an adult-onset disorder caused by mutations in the GNE gene. Amy has GNE myopathy herself, and she works as a patient advocate project manager. In this role, she connects with individuals with this rare disease, helps them to find resources, and assists with a support group. Amy participates in a speaker series for the foundation as well. She feels that her years as a teacher helped to prepare her for this role.
In addition, Amy is an accomplished artist. She is a photographer and has always enjoyed painting, and she is now using instructional books to teach herself to draw. In 2020, Amy won a Rare Artist Award for an acrylic abstract painting in a contest for artists with rare diseases. When asked about what inspires her, Amy said “The road to recovery with a TBI isn’t easy or short, but I found focusing on what matters most to me, my true passions, helped guide my journey and made me feel what was impossible, the healing, possible.”
The MossRehab TBI Model System is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art research and potentially lifelong treatments for persons with TBI and their families. MRRI and MossRehab are honored to be able to work with patients like Amy to help them achieve their rehabilitation goals and continue advancing our understanding of TBI recovery and outcomes.
This article was adapted from an article originally published in The MossRehab Traumatic Brain Injury Model System’s Fall 2022 Edition of Brain E-News.