Charles Maddock's Story

In June 2004, one month after graduating from college, I was crossing Third Avenue in Manhattan when I was hit by a taxi cab. The impact shattered my left pelvis before I flipped onto the hood of the cab and crashed headfirst through its windshield. I then fractured my right jaw on the glass prior to falling off the cab onto the road. Although this physical damage was severe and would necessitate extensive rehabilitation, the most serious injury I suffered that night by far was the severe trauma to my brain.

I was rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital, where I immediately underwent various surgeries to reduce my intracranial pressure (pressure within the skull). I spent almost two weeks in a coma, natural at first and then drug-induced in order to monitor my brain swelling. I was blessed to have a team of physicians who were extremely well-versed in the assessment and management of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), both in terms of conducting the initial emergency surgery, and then in monitoring and reducing my brain pressure in the ensuing weeks. I was one of the lucky ones.

Months later, when I began outpatient rehab, I was still in a great deal of physical and emotional pain. I was frustrated that I could not lead the normal life of a young adult who had just graduated from college. I was embarrassed that I could barely get out of bed, and when I did, I had to wear a helmet, since I only had half of a skull. Emotionally, I wasn’t the same person, even after I got out of the hospital. Due in part to this anxiety, I was losing my temper frequently with family and close friends, causing them to worry about whether or not I’d ever be completely healed.

Although I was able to start work 7 months after my accident, it took roughly a year and a half to finally feel strong, happy and like my old self again. I’m closer with my family and friends today than I ever was before my accident.Fortunate does not even begin to describe how I feel, especially after speaking with doctors and hearing the stories of their other patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries, but never fully recovered.

As I began to educate myself on TBI, I quickly became aware of its pervasive presence in our country: currently an estimated 5.3 million Americans live with disabilities resulting from TBI. Among children and young adults, TBI is the type of injury most often associated with deaths from accidents. I knew how lucky I was to have survived my accident, and I also knew that my recovery was due in no small part to the superior efforts of Dr. Howard Riina and his team at New York Presbyterian Hospital. In January 2006 I began to work with Dr. Riina to figure out how best I could help the many people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year. With this general goal in mind, The Charles Maddock Foundation (CMF) was born.

The primary purpose of CMF is to help educate physicians on the most efficient methods of dealing with brain injury and to serve as a resource of knowledge and support for those who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. The Charles Maddock Foundation supports research in the fields of neurology and neurosurgery to enhance medical knowledge and improve treatments for those suffering from brain injuries. Our organization is focused on education and innovation and looks to a future where many more lives of TBI victims will be saved and far fewer will suffer from disability.

The Charles Maddock Foundation was born out of the exceptional support I had when I was hurt and will continue to grow and flourish under that same inspiration.

Charles Maddock