Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Secretary of State John Kerry and heir to the Heinz condiment fortune, suffered a seizure on October 28th, 2013. This is taken from a news story published in the USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/story/onpolitics/2013/10/28/teresa-heinz-kerry-seizure-concussion/3285679/ She states that the seizure was a result of a very bad concussion she had four years ago. She also said that it was “from a concussion that was not treated properly”. This brings up the question on whether the rich and famous get better medical care than any ordinary citizen. It appears that in Theresa Kerry’s case they do not . As a matter of fact, her story sounds very similar to the numerous undiagnosed traumatic brain injured people that we come across all of the time.
Hillary Clinton also suffered a concussion from a fall after she had taken ill and hit her head in December 2012. Was she treated and diagnosed properly? Hillary’s concussion went undiagnosed for several days and was stated that is was not severe. It is unknown whether she or Heinz Kerry had the proper tests administered to diagnose the severity of the concussion or whether Traumatic Brain Injury was considered a factor. Hillary displayed some definite signs of traumatic brain injury after her concussion. She returned to the hospital nearly two weeks after her fall that caused her concussion and they did tests that resulted in finding a blood clot on her brain. They suggested that the clot could have formed as a result of the concussion but also possible that it was caused by in activity while she was recuperating. According to the Huffington Post on January 25th, 2013, over a month after her injury, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/hillary-clinton-glasses_n_2550715.html she was fitted for glasses to help with her double vision. Another symptom of Traumatic Brain Injury.
The point being, it doesn’t matter who you are or what stature you may have in the world, traumatic brain injury can affect anyone and often goes undiagnosed. Because of the misdiagnosis or undiagnosis, many brain injury survivors may not receive the proper treatment that they should receive immediately after suffering brain injury and it could hamper recovery time or full recovery.
Heinz Kerry should be commended in her efforts to bring attention to “care for the brain” as she is considering sponsoring a conference on her experiences. She is quoted as saying in the Post-Gazette that she has a great feeling of gratitude that her brain is still working. We hope that she does join the Brain Injury Advocacy. The more resources there are about traumatic brain injury the better.