ISAACTM System Case Summary TBI-01001
"Jeff" was a typical 19-year old military man living life as usual near the U.S. Navy base where he was stationed. When not serving on an aircraft carrier, he was dating his girlfriend or volunteering at the USO club. Then on the evening of 16 March 1992 his life was changed forever. While en route to his ship, which was departing the next day for a training mission, he was involved in an auto accident. Jeff sustained a head injury and fractured mandible.
Due to the severity of his jaw injuries, reconstructive procedures were the treatment focus with five surgeries on his jaw over the following years. Unfortunately, his head injury was given less attention and he was not referred for treatment at that time. Since Jeff had no driving restrictions, he continued to drive and subsequently was involved in numerous other auto wrecks, which were felt to aggravate his original head injury.
Throughout this period his head injury was manifest through cognitive and emotional symptoms, for which he was just given additional medication. After leaving the military, he tried to work at several civilian jobs, but was unsuccessful. Jeff gives account of one example: while working at a rehabilitation agency he sent some individuals to a community site, then forgot where they were.
In 1998 a social worker identified his problem and arrangements were made for admission to the Head Injury Unit at the Veteran's Administration Medical Center in the area. Finally receiving the much-needed intensive therapy, Jeff remained at this facility from November 1998 until May 1999. After discharge he returned home to live with his parents. Jeff’s mother became active with a local head injury program, which led to the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency becoming involved with his case. The VR counselor helped him attend a local head injury day treatment program and access other services, but there was something still missing.
With both parents gone to work, Jeff was spending most of his days living in their house, being unproductive. He would forget whether he fed the pets, neglect his chores and miss appointments. He could not remember his medication so he either took too much or did not take it at all. This often resulted in metabolic chaos. Jeff recalls that it was exhausting for his parents to worry about whether he did or did not do something. His mother refers to watching him “pathetically spiral intermittently downward”.
Despite his regression, Jeff was a bright young man who enjoyed time spent on his computer. In addition to designing a web page for his local brain injury group, he surfed the Internet. That is how he “found” the ISAAC system. Upon contacting Cogent Systems, Inc., the wheels were set in motion for the state Vocational Rehabilitation agency to fund his ISAAC system and the individualized authoring/training by a Qualified ISAAC Services Practitioner in his area. Jeff was thrilled. When asked by his counselor, he described being on one side of a cliff with the other side being structure and organization – “ISAAC is the bridge between the two sides”.
About a year later Jeff began using the ISAAC system with great expectations. Immediately he realized an improvement in his daily regime where he was completing the tasks his parents assigned to him, remembering to eat meals and taking his medication more regularly. Since that time he has experienced an unusual variety of events which interrupted his routine. One time he went to the hospital as a result of a bicycling accident where he ran into a fence and cut a gash in his face. Despite injuries, he used ISAAC to access important emergency information and instructions for the responding EMS team.
Even though there were some physical issues, disappointments and setbacks along the way (including his new puppy chewing up the cord of his ISAAC system charging adapter), Jeff has gained better control of his life. He moved into his own house several months later and attributed the ISAAC system with much of the reason he was able to achieve this goal. He said “ISAAC accepts a lot of the responsibilities that someone else [i.e. parents] would have to do so that is why I can live alone.”