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Purpose Prize Fellow 2013
After her daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury, Barrett built a rehabilitation center in Tennessee to fill a crucial gap in care.
Each year, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and 80% are released from the hospital. What happens once they leave?
As Tennessee real estate developer June Barrett discovered in 1981 when her then 14-year-old daughter Lori suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that left her unable to walk, speak or eat, there were few rehabilitation or recovery treatments available. She met many families in the same situation.
Her purpose became to help not only Lori, but all victims of TBI. “I decided that I could make a plan and start a center to help the brain injured person have a second chance at life,” Barrett says. “Most people did not have resources for services, so a nonprofit program was the answer.”
In 1992, Barrett established the Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center in Limestone, TN, to fill a crucial gap in rehabilitation and care. Upon retirement in 1998, she left her career as a realtor to fully devote herself to her encore work at Crumley House. Today, its day program offers classes in academic learning, computer training, physical training, household management, budgeting skills and personal hygiene. A residential living center supports 23 residents with 24/7 care. In the past decade, Crumley House has served over 3,000 brain injured members and their families in nine Tennessee counties.
“I have been able to pull a community of volunteers together under my Christian leadership to develop a one-of-a-kind brain injury program, giving a second chance at life,” she says of her encore career. “We have made a big difference in many lives. Isn’t that what life is all about?”