Child Neurology Consultants of Austin is privileged to partner with our friends at Team Luke Hope for Minds in caring for families whose child is impacted by a serious brain injury. We’re also so excited about their Fifth Annual Brain Injury Conference and Resource Fair on October 23, which can be attended virtually and in person.
This special organization provides financial relief, medical equipment, and a sense of community via support groups, therapy, and events to these families in need. For more information or to register for the event, please visit here.
One such family we know well through Team Luke Hope for Minds is the Finchers, whose young daughter Berk was in a non-drowning accident that left her with severe neurological challenges and seizures.
Berk currently sees our board-certified child neurologist Dr. Jinfon Ong who has helped to manage her seizures.
The Finchers share more about their story and the invaluable support provided to them by Team Luke Hope for Minds here:
How has Team Luke Hope for Minds helped your family?
Berk was in a non-fatal drowning. After her accident, Ronda Johnson reached out to us and came to the hospital. I thought if Berk’s condition stabilized, she would wake up and be healed. Ronda helped guide me through the upcoming months. After we got home, Team Luke Hope for Minds assisted us financially, helped with resources, grief groups and therapy. They never gave up on us on our journey. Anytime I have questions, someone always responds quickly. I know I can email, text or call anytime I need anything. There is no finish line after a brain injury and the support Team Luke Hope for Minds gives me and my family never ends. Right after Berk’s injury we had an outpouring of support. Everyone was front and center to help. Once the news fades, people move on with their lives. We still live it day to day, and we’re thankful that Team Luke Hope for Minds has been a constant support system in our lives.
How did the Team Luke Hope for Minds conference help you?
The conference was amazing! We learned so much during the conference. Putting together all of this information for families is incredible. Before Berk’s accident, I heard medical terms, but did not think they would relate to our family. It is a scary place to suddenly need all of those for my child. The conference puts all of the information a family may need in one place. They explain how and why these procedures, therapy and medical equipment can help a child after a brain injury in a way I could easily understand. Having a child with a brain injury is very isolating. This conference brings us all together and we can easily talk about what we are going through with other families that understand. We feel like we are in a safe place and that we all fit in. If an outsider would look in on the conference, it might make them sad. This is not a sad place at all. All of the speakers are wonderful and the doctors are all motivated to help give us a glimmer of hope. That is what this conference is all about, hope!
Tell us about your experience with Dr. Ong and Child Neurology Consultants of Austin.
I can’t tell you enough good things about Dr. Ong and Child Neurology Consultants of Austin. Dr. Ong is brilliant, caring and loving to the kids he works with. They have someone on call to answer the phones at all times. When Berk had her first seizure it was terrifying. I thought she was dying. Dr. Ong comforted me and put me at ease. He explained that the seizures are not life threatening and put Berk on medication to manage them. He has gotten her to a stable place. We are seeing fewer and fewer seizures. I cannot imagine seeing another doctor.
What do you want people to know about Berk’s accident?
I want people to know that it can happen to anyone, it can happen to you, and I know this because it happened to me. I always thought I was somehow invincible to something so tragic happening to my child. Drownings happened on the news in far away places that were nowhere near close to home for my family and my babies. I’ve never been so wrong. Life can change like the weather, without notice, without a handbook of what follows such a tragedy. We cannot protect our children from everything, although we try with all we have, all we can do is educate ourselves and do everything in our power to prevent tragic accidents from happening. Education is what will save lives, and if I was educated at the time of my daughter’s drowning I would have known that one in four babies will die from a drowning accident. What I want people to know is protect them as they are old enough, get survival lessons, get the gates at grandparents, tell your friends, don’t glamorize water. Speak loudly on the subject. I would do anything to go back and change that day, but it is not in the cards. All I can do is use our story to save other lives in my daughter’s name, Berkely Michael Fincher, “Berk.”
Tips for safe swimming and drowning prevention can be found here.
Child Neurology Consultants of Austin has experience treating a wide range of neurological conditions in children and teenagers from 0 to 21 years old.