Turner Joins Sarah Jane Brain Foundation At City Hall
Congressman Bob Turner joined Sarah Jane Donohue, the six-year-old namesake of The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, and other families impacted by Shaken Baby Syndrome at City Hall today for a press conference in support of H.R. 2600, the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act (PABI Plan Act).
“I am proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of this bi-partisan effort to increase awareness and improve the care for the thousands of American youth that suffer from Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury every year. I commend Mr. Donohue and the rest of the staff at The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation for their tireless effort towards the treatment and prevention of PABI,” Turner said.
The event was held during April since it is Child Abuse Awareness Month, with April 15-21 being Shaken Baby Syndrome Awareness Week. The event highlighted the bi-partisan support by Turner and other house members of the $2.9 billion seven-year federal initiative which will be the largest in the nation’s history to prevent, identify, and treat the number one leading cause of death and disability for American youth – brain injury.
Sarah Jane’s father and founder of The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, Patrick Donohue, said, “We are so thankful for the broad-based bi-partisan support the PABI Plan Act has received. As a New Yorker, I am very proud that Democrats and Republicans can come together to change the world for Sarah Jane and the millions of our families impacted by Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury.”
Sarah Jane was shaken by her baby nurse when she was just five days old, breaking four ribs, both collarbones, and causing a severe brain injury.
“Someday Sarah Jane will be able to thank these political leaders herself, but in the meanwhile, please accept my gratitude and appreciation on her behalf,” Donohue added.
Also in attendance was Congressman Michael Grimm, who echoed Turner’s sentiments about the great need for an initiative of this magnitude.
“Shaken Baby Syndrome and other causes of brain injuries impact every community in our nation, including my district of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It is the leading cause of death and disability for American youth and the PABI Plan Act will help develop a seamless, standardized, evidence-based system of care that is universally accessible for the millions of these families. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of H.R. 2600 and support this national initiative,” Grimm said.
Family members and those affected, including Darryl Gibbs of Yonkers, whose daughter, Cynthia was killed as an infant due to Shaken Baby Syndrome; Lynne Stone from Staten Island, whose 17-year-old granddaughter, Amber, was shaken as an infant causing a brain injury; Alicia Biondo from Mastic, NY, whose five-year-old daughter, Evelynn, was shaken as an infant causing a brain injury; Craig Sears from Wilton, CT, who suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was a teenager due to a motorcycle crash; Dr. Steven Kernie, director of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital; and other advocates also joined Congressmen Turner and Grimm at the press conference.
The National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act (PABI Plan Act) launches a national initiative dealing with Shaken Baby Syndrome and other brain injuries. The legislation (HR 2600) will implement the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan which covers the entire continuum of care from prevention, treatment in acute medical facilities, reintegration back into the schools, communities and homes and then transitioning into an adult system of greater independent living.
For more information about the PABI Plan and the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, please take a few minutes to read Patrick Donohue’s letter to Sarah Jane when she turned five: www.TheBrainProject.org/lettertosara hjane.php.