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patient-storyLeer esta historia en español. Fall 2021 How would you start to rebuild decades of your life? Gary Brennan of Centerville was driving to work one day when the next thing he knew, he was waking up in a trauma center. He asked his clinical team to alert his fiancé’s family—he and Lynne planned to wed in just a few months. Gary thought it was 1974. He didn’t know that he was 59 years old, and he’d been married to Lynne for nearly 40 years. A driver had rear-ended Gary’s truck, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that wiped out decades of his memory. “My life became swiss cheese,” says Gary. “The hunk was there, but full of holes.” He and Lynne needed to reconstruct every aspect of his life. Helping Gary fill those holes was one goal of his rehabilitation team at Spaulding Cape Cod. He received intensive treatment to address deficits caused by the TBI, strengthening his cognitive skills, balance, and self-care. After his inpatient rehab and weeks of home care, he returned to Spaulding for outpatient therapy to work toward increasing independence. Gary and Lynne started referring to him as Gary 2.0. “I had to rebuild myself,” says Gary. “Sometimes I struggled with

Meet Gary

patient-story
Gray Brennan

Rebuilding Life after Traumatic Brain Injury

Gary at his greeter’s post at Spaulding Cape Cod.

Leer esta historia en español.

Fall 2021

How would you start to rebuild decades of your life?

Gary Brennan of Centerville was driving to work one day when the next thing he knew, he was waking up in a trauma center. He asked his clinical team to alert his fiancé’s family—he and Lynne planned to wed in just a few months.

Gary thought it was 1974. He didn’t know that he was 59 years old, and he’d been married to Lynne for nearly 40 years.

A driver had rear-ended Gary’s truck, resulting in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that wiped out decades of his memory. “My life became swiss cheese,” says Gary. “The hunk was there, but full of holes.” He and Lynne needed to reconstruct every aspect of his life.

Helping Gary fill those holes was one goal of his rehabilitation team at Spaulding Cape Cod. He received intensive treatment to address deficits caused by the TBI, strengthening his cognitive skills, balance, and self-care. After his inpatient rehab and weeks of home care, he returned to Spaulding for outpatient therapy to work toward increasing independence.

Gary and Lynne started referring to him as Gary 2.0. “I had to rebuild myself,” says Gary. “Sometimes I struggled with who I was, but I was going to build on the strengths I still had to move forward.”

Generous gifts to Spaulding Cape Cod support patients like Gary as they build a new future. With support from Annual Fund donations, Spaulding has this year invested in technology to provide virtual patient care during the pandemic, new equipment for our leading-edge therapy gyms, programs to promote diversity and inclusion, and more.

While our team addresses the needs of patients today, we must also look ahead. A commitment to innovation in rehabilitative care and research is core to Spaulding’s mission.

Gary, too, is committed to helping others on their recovery journeys. He participates in a Spaulding TBI research study. He and Lynne volunteer through our peer visitation and caregiver support programs. Gary joined Spaulding as an official greeter, ensuring that visitors understand and follow COVID-19 safety protocols. From his post in the lobby, he is a welcoming and reassuring presence to staff, patients, and families.

Gary and Lynne also recommitted themselves to each other and the journey ahead. Strengthened by their faith and love of family and friends, they renewed their wedding vows, saying, “I still do.” 

In Spaulding Cape Cod’s 25-year history, we have improved the quality of life for thousands of people. Together, and with generous donations, we will continue to discover and deliver the best care for all our patients—now and in the future.

Imagine the Possibilities

At a time when scientific advancements can help make the impossible possible, an investment in rehabilitation medicine has never been more necessary—or more promising.

Your gift to Spaulding can make a real difference...starting now.