Marjorie Crigler & Jason Crigler will be speaking on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 4 pm at MIT’s PicowerInstitute, 43 Vassar Street Cambridge
In 2004, Jason Crigler suffered a brain hemorrhage while playing guitar onstage in a New York City nightclub. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors gave Jason’s family a grim prognosis: “Even if he lives through the night, there won’t be much left of the man you know.” But Jason’s pregnant wife and the rest of his family refused to accept the dire prediction. Convinced that Jason was “in there,” they mounted an intensive course of rehabilitation.
Defying the Odds is a multimedia presentation in which Jason and his sister Marjorie examine the various factors in Jason’s recovery, from medicine to music to mindset. Using video footage from Jason’s rehabilitation, and offering the dual perspective of survivor and caregiver, Jason and Marjorie impart a fascinating story of neurological transformation and revival. Some areas of their exploration include:
Because of numerous complications—meningitis, seizures, coma—Jason did not begin rehabilitation until six months after his stroke, well beyond what most doctors would consider the “window of opportunity” for recovery. And yet, he has made a near-complete return to health. How did this happen, and what does it say about the brain’s ability to recuperate and regenerate?
Jason’s memory has an 18 month gap—from getting in an ambulance until Christmas the following year—but neither his long-term memory nor his knowledge was compromised. Moreover, with time, his short-term memory returned. What contributed to his memory’s ability to come back after being offline for a year and a half?
Jason’s return to health mostly consisted of recovering certain abilities. Yet, his connection to music actually improved following his stroke. How was Jason’s sense of self preserved and, in some ways, even enhanced?