Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
MAY is National Stroke Awareness Month.
  #5Thoughts Friday
The "Nylon Stockings" Edit ion
#5ThoughtsFriday is Powered By :
Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Photo by  Andrew Neel  on  Unsplash
As a result of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, schools around the country have shut their doors for an indefinite period of time. Many schools have migrated their daily lessons and homework assignments online, revealing a stark digital divide between students with high-speed internet connection and modern devices and those who lack these resources. More than 21 million Americans do not have access to high-speed Internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s latest data.

These digital woes fall heavily on low-income parents who are tasked with supervising their children in the midst of a national pandemic. Additional stress is placed on parents of children living with disabilities, who are trying to assist their children with accessing educational enrichment activities that were not designed to meet their child’s needs. Concurrently, educators are trying to find ways to make their classes accessible to all students, including their low-income students and students living with disabilities.

In this week’s “Learning Pack,” we have included a digital accessibility toolkit designed for educators and state and district leaders. It was created by The Center on Technology and Disability (CTD), which is a user-centered learning and technical assistance website designed to increase the capacity of families, school systems, technical assistance providers, special education leaders, and other key stakeholders to understand, assess, acquire, and implement appropriate assistive and instructional technology strategies and tools.

CLICK HERE for Arin's article on this issue.

CLICK HERE for the toolkit in downloadable PDF.
We are witnessing mandated social isolation and social distancing on an epic scale. As part of BIAMD's interest in serving Maryland's Brain Injury Community, we are starting what we call "Check-In Chats".

We would like to "check in" with anyone looking to share their experiences and challenges with either an individual or in a social group setting.

Even though we can't meet in person, there are many ways open to us, and, if you are interested, we would like to hear from you about your needs and how we can help you feel more connected.

Once we hear from you, we can move forward in setting up our chats. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up using our online registration form and express your interest in participating an upcoming conversation either individually or in a group.

The Check-In Chat is Today, Friday May 15th, at NOON , with a Pre-Chat Tech Check at 11:30am for anyone who would like to take a few extra minutes to make sure they will be able to log in and participate.

Once we receive your registration, we will send you the link.

Come join us!
(This story is about one of our favorite people in the world, Lt. Steve Thomas who works on the Maryland TBI Advisory Board alongside BIAMD and so many others. He has presented at the BIAMD Annual Conference and works every single day to bring understanding and dignity to individuals with a variety of mental and physical illnesses. We are so glad Steve has made a full recovery and is back on the streets serving his community's needs particular during these difficult times. )

When a disgruntled Glen Burnie gunman blasted a shotgun into the chest of his young neighbor and barricaded himself in an apartment last April, Lt. Steven Thomas was there to comfort the traumatized as Anne Arundel County police locked down the complex.

That day he carried a baby through a fleet of police cars and tactical trucks. A month later, he greeted the homicide victim’s loved ones as they arrived to pack up his apartment. As the police department’s resident expert on crisis intervention, Thomas rushes to the scenes of the most heinous crimes and unthinkable tragedies to console the inconsolable.

He’s comfortable helping others navigate the worst days of their lives, not asking for help for his own.

But when he contracted the coronavirus sometime last month, he found himself in that unfamiliar position. Thomas had to trade his familiar blue colored shirt and Kevlar vest for hospital gown and bracelet as COVID-19, the illness caused by the respiratory virus, crippled him.

At 51, he went from working out daily to the intensive care unit and now after he’s recovered and returned to work, he says he needed every bit of support from his family, police coworkers and community to make it through.

CLICK HERE for more on Steve's amazing story.

CLICK HERE or on the Picture Below to hear Steve tell his story in his own words.
Photo by  Catherine Heath  on  Unsplash
Brain injury and stroke patients being discharged from hospital earlier than normal, due to the coronavirus pandemic, will receive virtual rehabilitation at home, as part of an innovative pilot study led by UCL and supported by the charity SameYou.
As a result of the global crisis, critical care beds across the country, including those in specialist neurological hospitals, are being freed up to care for Covid-19 patients.

This means brain injury and stroke patients, who might typically spend six weeks in hospital to recover and rehabilitate, are being discharged back home in less than two weeks. This is to make beds available and to also protect these often elderly and/or vulnerable patients, who might be at heightened risk of infection by Covid-19.

Due to the current crisis, community rehabilitation teams are less able to do home visits, so to ensure patients continue to receive high quality support, the UCL Centre for Neurorehabilitation , who work alongside the UCLH National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), plan to deliver all stroke rehabilitation remotely, covering both emotional and physical recovery.
With the support of dedicated fundraising by SameYou , the foundation started by Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke. Via the portal, sessions will be timetabled and patients will be invited to take part.

The sessions, led by trained therapists, will cover physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, cognitive strategy, fatigue management and emotional support. Further options for virtual rehabilitation include one-to-one video consultations, use of existing accredited apps, such as and, and exercise videos downloaded to video sharing websites, such as YouTube.

CLICK HERE for more on this telemedicine initiative from "over the pond".

If you are having signs or symptoms of a stroke, CALL 911 immediately. TIME IS BRAIN. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to treat your resulting stroke symptoms.

An easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke and how to respond is F.A.S.T.:

F   = Face drooping: Ask the person to smile. Does one side droop?

A  = Arm weakness: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

= Speech difficulty: Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Are the words slurred?

= Time to call 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately. 
On Wednesday, May 20th
at 6pm
to discuss
the BOOST Phase 3 Clinical Trial
Principle Investigator
Dr. Wendy Chang.

Dr. Wendy Chang , Principal Investigator (PI) of BOOST clinical trial at the Shock Trauma Center of Baltimore, Maryland (University of Maryland Medical Center)


BOOST Clinical Trial Interview with the Principal Investigator
B rain O xygen O ptimization in S evere T BI Phase-3 
b.  Registered with  NCT03754114
c.   NIH Project Number: 1U01NS099046-01A1  
d.  Status: Preparing for Enrollment


Wednesday May 20 th , 2020 at 6pm


Facebook Live: Brain Injury Association of Maryland FB page


It's our chance to share with you some of the ongoing cutting edge research currently taking place and your chance to learn about these exciting trials and ask questions of the researchers conducting the studies.

Zoom Room Support Group Meeting for Caregivers

If you're missing your in-person Brian Injury Caregiver Support Group due to cancellations but still would like to join in with others caring for a Brain Injury Survivor, please join our Zoom Room Support Group Meeting for Caregivers this Sunday evening from 7:30-8:45pm (Eastern Time).
Login with this link:
Find out more information on our website:  
or contact Tom Gallup at

2) What We are Reading This Week and Know You Will Enjoy
Click HERE or The video below to see Kirk Douglas addressing Communicative Disorder Students at California State University- Long Beach about his stroke and his recovery.
n 1995, Kirk Douglas suffered a debilitating stroke that changed his life. In this vivid and very personal reflection upon his extraordinary life as an actor, author, and legend in his own time, Douglas offers a candid and heartfelt memoir of where it all went right in his life -- even after the stroke.

Revealing not only the incredible physical and emotional toll of his stroke but how it has changed his life for the better, Douglas shares the lessons that saved him and helped him to heal. Alongside his heartfelt advice and insight, he also recalls warm memories of some of the most famous figures of our time -- including Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Michael J. Fox, and Gary Cooper -- as well as others who have soared to greatness in the face of adversity.

Charming, soulful, and filled with personal photographs, My Stroke of Luck is an intimate look at the real person behind the fabulous talent -- and at a life lived to its very fullest.

CLICK HERE for more.
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees?"

Have you ever clicked on the pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Photo by  Oskars Sylwan  on  Unsplash

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This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of treatments, individuals, or programs which appear herein. Any external links on the website are provided for the visitor’s convenience; once you click on any of these links you are leaving BIAMD's #5ThoughtsFriday blog post. BIAMD has no control over and is not responsible for the nature, content, and availability of those sites. 

  Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.