A paper written by a neurologist was adopted by the BIA as of March 2009. The article states that no one knows how the term “survivor” got to be in use in our brain injury community. (Perhaps because some of us survivors wanted it that way?) If you wanted to know why we call ourselves survivors – why didn’t you ask us? If the BIA had a survivor council, as we have requested for a long time now, the BIA could have asked their Survivor Council.
Here is one answer anyway. Who wants to think of oneself only in terms of being a brain-injured person? One must overcome as best one can the disaster of tbi. So if one wants to look at oneself as a “survivor” and one gets some strength in viewing it that way, what is the harm of that? Anyway, that part is for us to decide, one by one. That is not the medical community’s call. “Survivor of TBI” is not a medical term, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have validity for many of us. And it is not just about having lived through the trauma (instead of having died like most people would have in the old days.) It’s about having lived through life in spite of the aftereffects of brain injury whether it be from tbi or stroke or anoxic brain injury or whatever. So, leave a few things to us, such as what we want to call ourselves out in the world, as opposed to at the medical clinic, OK?