Building A Bridge - Offering Support to Traumatic Brain Injury Patients in Charlottesville

Author: Attorney P. Christopher Guedri

Many of our clients have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A traumatic brain injury can drastically change the life of the victim and their loved ones. In some severe cases, the person who has suffered the brain injury is no longer able to live independently and needs temporary or permanent living assistance.

In Charlottesville one organization is dedicated to proving living assistance to adults with traumatic brain injuries: Building a Bridge.

The Building a Bridge (hereafter "The Bridge")organization, a tax-exempt Virginia corporation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, operates in the City of Charlottesville. The organization provides lifelong homes and residential staff to adults who have disabilities arising from the aftermath of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Traumatic brain injury is a life-altering event that can happen easily to anyone, in the midst of the most routine activities.

In the The Bridge program, the primary purpose and activities are the fostering of a family-like setting for daily life wherein brain-injured adults can live to the greatest degree possible as independent members of the general community, rather than as dependent members in the households of their families of origin or as institutional clients.

At The Bridge, the staff lives together with the residents and devote 100% of their time to run households that create the maximum opportunities for disabled residents to take an adult role in life.  Some of the residents hold a regular job, attend classes and cultural activities in the community, interact socially with members of other households in the Bridge community, travel for vacations (usually to visit family), participate in the general upkeep of the homes in which they live, and help out at the other Bridge homes with various things such as preparing meals or raking leaves in the autumn.  The in-house weekly art- and music therapy is well attended by the residents.

Because of the family-style arrangement at The Bridge, the needs for support that are unique to each resident can be addressed.  For example, some residents are capable of using the city bus for transportation, while others' disabilities require assisted public transportation, and still others need to be driven to appointments by Bridge staff members.

Persons who sustained a traumatic brain injury often had academic and professional backgrounds prior to their trauma. Hence, the location of four homes in the downtown neighborhoods of Charlottesville (three owned by The Bridge) within the Charlottesville community is extremely important. It offers not only extensive medical facilities and experts, but also a rich academic and cultural life of a university town, all of which is so important for the integration and inclusion of the disabled adult.

Contact information on Building a Bridge: Phone: 434 293-6446 723 Lexington Avenue | Charlottesville, VA 22902


About the Author: Richmond personal injury attorney Chris Guedri has over 30 years of experience handing cases for clients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Chris is a past board member of the Virginia Head Injury Association and is a current member of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia. Recognized by his peers as a superb litigator, Chris has been listed in the book Best Lawyers in America since 1995 and in 2008 he was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an organization of attorneys who are elected to membership based on their reputation for excellence. He has also been included among the "Legal Elite Best Lawyers in Virginia" by Virginia Business Magazine.

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