Beasley Allen employee Carol Stanley was honored on April 17, 2012 as one of the 2012 River Region Volunteers of the Year. The award is sponsored by the Volunteer and Information Center and the Junior League of Montgomery, and was part of National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2012. The theme was “Celebrating People in Action.”
Carol became an outspoken advocate for Brain Injury Awareness and Crime Victims Rights in 2007, when her son Jason suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as the result of a violent assault. Three men pushed Jason, a student at Auburn University, to the ground, where he struck his head on concrete. They continued to beat and kick him while he was on the ground.
Although he visited the hospital after the attack, doctors released him after suturing some cuts and treating abrasions, telling Carol her son would be fine. Later that night, Jason awoke severely ill, unable to move without vomiting. Carol took him to another hospital and he was eventually admitted to a neuro-intensive care unit. It was discovered he had a severe head wound, a fractured jaw, and that the nerves in his right ear were severed, leaving him deaf on that side.
Once Jason began to recover from his physical wounds, he and his mother discovered that TBI has other, “invisible” effects. People with TBI suffer from depression, mood swings, trouble concentrating, memory problems, post traumatic stress disorder, anger and suicidal ideation. These are often called the “silent disabilities” of TBI.
In the years that followed, Carol became active in a number of organizations that promote head injury awareness. It is her hope that through education she can hope other people who suffer brain injuries, and their families, to understand the dangers of head injury, and its often lasting impacts. Carol is active with the Alabama Head Injury Foundation (AHIF) and the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Head Injury Task Force. She has participated in helping promote Brain Injury Awareness Month, which is held in March each year, and is part of a speakers’ bureau that talks to groups and the media about TBI to help raise awareness.
Carol also is active with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, on a Crime Victims Task Force and Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL). She is working to strengthen penalties for juvenile offenders who cause serious physical injury (including TBI) or death. There is a bill before the current session of the Alabama Legislature that would accomplish this goal. HB175 is sponsored by Rep. Arthur Payne.
For more about HB175 and its current status, visit the Alabama Legislative Information System online.
For more information about Traumatic Brain Injury, visit www.RightingInjustice.com.