Reconstructing Identity After Brain Injury : A Search for Hope and Optimism After Maxillofacial and Neurosurgery book cover
1st Edition

Reconstructing Identity After Brain Injury
A Search for Hope and Optimism After Maxillofacial and Neurosurgery

ISBN 9781032036496
Published March 31, 2022 by Routledge
146 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Reconstructing Identity After Brain Injury tells the remarkable story of Stijn Geerinck and his journey from road traffic accident to recovery. After he was hit by a drunk driver whilst cycling, Stijn suffered a traumatic brain injury and had to undergo drastic maxillofacial and neurosurgery.

In his own words, this book narrates Stijn’s difficult recovery, focusing on the physical, medical, mental, social and financial changes he had to endure. It lays the groundwork for coping with permanent impairment resulting from TBI, including lifelong lesions and the irreversible physical changes. The testimonial narrative is complemented with philosophical insights, providing key philosopher’s reflections on the experience of brain injury. Stijn also explores the essential human characteristics of resilience, fighting spirit, emotionality, despair, vulnerability, hope, depression, optimism, anxiety, rationality, focus, anger and love, as he looks at the impact of his brain injury and resulting disfigurement on his masculine identity.

It is essential reading for any professional involved in neuropsychological rehabilitation, and all those touched by this condition.

Table of Contents

Preface: Life, Survival and Personal Identity by Prof. dr. Ignaas Devisch


I. A Radical Change: The End of a Lucky Duck

II. The Mental Resilience Reflex

III. Medical Resuscitation and Physical Recovery

IV. Mental Recovery

V. Social Recovery

VI. Financial Recovery

VII. Two Years and Counting


Epilogue by Prof. Dr. Engelien Lannoo

Appendix 1: Bibliography of My Revalidation

Appendix 2: A Brief Sketch of Stijn’s Time in Hospital and His Recovery after His Accident (by My Wife, Katty Knaepen)

Appendix 3: Court Testimony (October 11, 2018)

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Stijn Geerinck is a Belgian philosophy teacher, bass player, long-distance runner, and now writer. In 2019 he published his debut book, in Dutch, entitled Tussen hoop en hersenletsel (Between hope and brain injury). It is an organic narrative about coping with severe bad luck. This work has now been translated in English and its scientific approach aims to support people in similar situations. The author seeks to support wellbeing throughout the world by means of effective altruism, demonstrating how to overcome hardship and disability as far as possible.