My name is Kendra Bratherton and I am a five time MTBI (mild traumatic brain injury) survivor, a spinal cord injury survivor, a mother of a MTBI survivor and serve as the founder/leader of this group. I am an Occupational Therapist Asst, Tensegrity Medicine™ Specialist, Bowenwork® Practitioner and Reiki Master. I serve as a Board of Director/Secretary for the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon and am a huge advocate for head injury support and education for our surrounding area. I have opened my own holistic healing practice in April 2018 called Merkaba Center for Healing, LLC on Astoria's beautiful riverwalk. My focus is to incorporate a multi-dimensional approach using holistic modalities to aide in the bodies own healing process. I have a lot of experience through my own healing journey to realize how profound alternative methods of healing can be and how they have been the turning point in my recovery.
I have been a speaker at the annual PNW Head Injury Conference for the last few years with plans of continuing. I love to inspire and give hope to others with knowledge I have gained from my own personal healing journey and from a professional perspective. My goal is to educate as many people as possible about the alternative methods of healing the body, brain, nervous system and psyche.
Through my personal and professional experiences I feel the calling to assist fellow survivors and loved ones/caregivers with more in-depth understanding of the recovery process and aftermath of brain injury and it's multiple neurological and psychological deficits.
Head injury consists of any trauma to the skull and/or brain, whether it be a slight concussion or more severe head trauma, tumor, insult due to lack of oxygen, stroke, aneurysm, or other neurological incidents. Regardless to which degree your injury is, there is always the aftermath that can be hard to sift through on your own. It becomes difficult to explain to loved ones and friends about what your going through and is even harder once the bruises or outward signs of injury go away and you begin to "look" better and back to your old self.
Does this sound familiar to any of you? I know what I went through for years and still to this day, I find the hardest part is trying to help people understand my continued deficits. We all go through different experiences like holes in memory, loss of emotional center, poor concentration, inability to follow directions, difficulty finding words, personality differences.... I could go on and on.
The aftermath, as I call it, can last from days, weeks to many years after the trauma. As difficult as it is for the survivor to "find" oneself, it is often just as difficult or maybe even harder for our family, significant others and friends to know how to cope and help us. Many survivors loose friends, marriages break up, family bonds are broken or lessened ...... and why? I feel it is due to the lack of education, awareness and support for survivors, caregivers and loved ones. I had wished there was some support during the earlier years after my last injury in 2005. My husband (at the time) and children suffered greatly. I feel that if myself, family and friends were educated about head trauma and the wide array of deficits and struggles head trauma leads to, that it would have assisted my whole family with being prepared and patient during my recovery. Support from people that understand is so important. I formed this group to give survivors and caretakers a place to come and vent, ask questions, share experiences, get advice from people that have been in our shoes, to laugh and cry and most importantly to grow and heal.