Caregiver Stories

Older woman smiling next to younger woman wearing glasses

In the Spring of 2021, my effervescent mom, Marilyn Samperi, a retired elementary school teacher of 29 years, filled her days with daily visits to her husband in a nearby assisted living facility, quilting in a guild, and staying abreast of all that was happening in the busy lives of her 11 grandchildren (pictured with her here)! 

Eleven people standing around one older woman all next to a pool

Then an accidental fall and subsequent brain bleed changed the trajectory of life for this vivacious and engaged octogenarian. Mom, whose primary care physician once said functioned 10 years younger than her 84 years, was now completely dependent on our family for daily care.

I left a job that I loved and mom moved in with me. And while we got along great, she became depressed from a lack of interaction with others and an absence of opportunities, and we were both struggling with our new decreased independence.

Living in the seacoast area, I had heard great things about the David Krempels Brain Injury Center, but it wasn’t until attending for the first time in October of 2021 that I realized the impact and the beauty of the community. At KBIC, my mom once again formed close connections with others, found meaningful engagement, had important mental stimulation, and experienced respect and acceptance.

As a family, we received important support that helped us transition from looking at Mom’s brain injury as a traumatic life sentence to a wrinkle that added life challenges but also richly unique opportunities. We credit the strides she has made in healing and skills she has regained largely to her participation as a KBIC member.

Mom is quilting again. Her skills were regained slowly, and at first consisted only of sorting fabric by color or sewing simple lines. Then, inspired to make a goodbye gift for a dear KBIC intern, Nnedi, that she had become particularly close to, Mom completed her first project solely from memory in February, only 11 months after her traumatic brain injury!

KBIC helped give our mom her sparkle back.

Our family knows that the complete respect and acceptance Mom has always felt at KBIC, coupled with the strong brain building programming and loving relationships, has been integral to this accomplishment and so many others she continues to make.

Kate Milne
Daughter of a brain injury survivor,
and proud caregiver to Marilyn,
a David Krempels Brain Injury Center member

KBIC has been wonderful welcoming my boyfriend, Chris, into the program shortly after his discharge from the hospital a few months ago.

Chris suffered a TBI back in February after falling off his electric unicycle without wearing his helmet. He has been recovering phenomenally and continues to show enthusiasm in returning back to the life he had before the accident with the help of his doctors, therapists, friends, family, and everyone at KBIC. While his TBI comes with certain new challenges, Chris is willing to participate with KBIC classes to work on his physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and socialization skills in a safe, friendly, and accepting environment. It’s great to see him relate and interact with others with brain injuries, learning & sharing life lessons and experiences from them. He enjoys the physical activities of the program, especially the Tai-Chi class with its calming breathing and martial arts techniques. He’s even shown interest with the adaptive bicycling program that’s coming up for the King’s Challenge! It’s community programs like KBIC that help those with brain injuries feel a sense of belonging and empowerment. I’m grateful this program has become a positive influence in Chris’ recovery process. Thank you KBIC for being so great to him, and we look forward to Chris’ future endeavors with the program!

Volkrov Amarello