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Cover Story:
Traumatic Brain Injury

Changing the Odds
A North Carolina family's search to help those with TBI

Marty Foil (left) with farm favorite, Shay Day, and Brendan, 22 (right)

Hind's Feet Farm executive director Marty Foil (left) with farm favorite, Shay Day, and Brendan, 22 (right), who was injured in a 2002 traffic accident in North Carolina.
Photo courtesy of Hind's Feet Farms

TBI patients at Hind's Feet Farms

TBI patients at Hind's Feet Farms engage in a variety of activities.
Photo courtesy of Hind's Feet Farms

By Christopher Moore,
Freelance Writer

According to the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Authority, auto accidents claim one life every 13 minutes.

Phillip Foil was lucky to survive his. But the 1984 crash left him with traumatic brain injury (TBI)—and changed his family's life forever. "Back then there were no roadmaps for our journey," recalls his mother, Carolyn. "But we had an unshakable belief that Phillip would have hope and a future."

For the next nine years, the Foils moved around the country, desperately seeking long-term care for Philip. More often than not, what they found were unsupportive programs and inattentive staff.

"Philip needed a peer group in a place where temperament, behavior, and compatibility were carefully evaluated and monitored," says his mother.

The family set out to change things.

In late 2000, they founded Hind's Feet Farm, a non-profit organization dedicated to maximizing the post-injury potential of people like Phillip with brain injury. Located in Huntersville, N.C., the 36-acre facility offers a day program of structured group activities tailored to residents' needs. Included are arts and crafts, yoga, field games and community outings, all designed to add meaning and purpose to post-injury life.

Because of the Foil family's experience, Hind's Feet Farm also focuses on support of family members. Says Phillip's brother, Marty, the farm's executive director, "People and families get discharged from outpatient therapy and rehabilitation facilities with no idea what to do next—where to go, who to contact, and how to proceed. We help them."

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Read More "Traumatic Brain Injury" Articles
A Family Finds Its Way / TBI Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention / NIH Research to Results / Go Local to Find Help / Changing the Odds

Fall 2008 Issue: Volume 3 Number 4 Page 9