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Joanne Susi

"I lost consciousness in the helicopter and I remember thinking I was dead, and that this was the end…then nothing,” Jim has no memory of his time in the hospital during his stroke, but came out the other side dedicated to fight his way back. And fight he did!
Read Jim's story.

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I Feel Accepted Here
11 years after his hemorrhagic stroke, even with all the major accomplishments he’d achieved, Jim Lyman still felt like something was missing.

“Even years after my stroke I was in an unhappy place. I thought I’d be able to go back to work but that just didn’t happen. I felt lonely and had a tough time communicating that, even though I have a good family support system.”

Working for Dow Chemical, Jim was a proven work-aholic, he devoured books, and was a practiced mathematician. But, in April 2006, just 2 weeks before his 40th birthday, Jim was airlifted to UMASS where he spent 19 days in a coma to reduce brain swelling, suffered a second stroke, and then struggled to be awaken from the coma intended to save his life. Doctors weren’t sure he would come out of his coma, but Jim came out fighting and has made amazing strides ever since. 7 weeks of inpatient rehabilitation had him sitting up and walking on his own by the end. He continues to work on his gait, paralysis, and speech and still sees progress thanks to a variety of outpatient therapies.

But, in 2015, he told a therapist that something else needed to change. She suggested a brain injury support group, “just once.” Reluctant at first, Jim obliged her…

“After one day, and just one group, I was hooked,” Jim says of his first Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts experience. “I love my family, but BIA-MA gives me a place to interact with people outside of my family, who know what I’m going through. I feel accepted here.”

Non-traumatic or traumatic – BIA-MA is here to provide support for all those affected by brain injury. We aim to help navigate the unknowns associated with brain injury through important resources and bring the community together by providing a support system for survivors like Jim.

“BIA-MA can help. They are here for whatever you need, and once you reach out you can 100% turn your life around. I’m lucky to have found BIA-MA!”

In addition to support groups, BIA-MA provides public programs in prevention around the state to schools, towns and civic groups discussing the importance of safety and awareness, educational opportunities for professionals in the brain injury field, and public policy efforts at the state level to aid Massachusetts residents in pursuit of an improved quality of life.

Donations from our friends are what help us to touch the lives of thousands of individuals affected by brain injury, just like Jim.

Thank you for making your donation today!

For more information contact the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) at 508-475-0032