Friday, May 17, 2013

Gary Busey Brain Injury

On December 4, 1988, American actor Gary Busey (full name: William Gary Busey), best known for playing in "Lethal Weapon", "Point Break" and "Under Siege," was badly injured in a motorcycle accident in which he was not wearing a helmet. His skull was fractured (intense swelling and bleeding) and doctors feared he suffered permanent brain damage. Thankfully, he miraculously emerged from a coma after 33 days!

During the crash, Busey, 68, slid on a patch of gravel at 40 mph, flipped over the handlebars of his motorcycle and hit his head on the curb. After a period of recuperation and rehabilitation, Busey made a comeback in his film career and has been working as an advocate for traumatic injury prevention ever since.

It has to be noted that in the past ten years Gary Busey has earned the reputation for bizarre and irrational behavior. He has experienced a series of arrests and been featured on some of America's most trashy reality TV programs. 

During the filming of the second season of "Celebrity Rehab" in 2008,  Dr. Drew Pinsky suggested that Busey should be examined by psychiatrist Dr. Charles Sophy. Sophy suspected that Busey's brain injury might have had a greater impact on him than initially realized. He described it as essentially weakening his mental "filters" and causing him to speak and act impulsively. Sophy recommended Busey take a medication called Depakote (valproic acid), to which Busey agreed.

After the accident, Busey has become a strong supporter of helmets. "I want people to understand that life is very important and that if you're riding a motorcycle, skateboard, or bicycle without a helmet, you're challenging the face of death," Busey explained.

Referring to his coma experience Gary Busey stated that during his coma he experienced a vision of the afterlife that changed his life forever.

"I remember being aware of only two things during that ordeal. The first was that I entered and returned from a spiritual realm, and that the experience has been the foundation of my faith ever since. The second, and equally important experience, was the healing love and support of the people who surrounded me."

During his surgery, Busey claimed he was surrounded by angels. "They didn't appear in the form that people see on Christmas cards. The angels were big balls of light that floated and carried nothing but love and warmth," Busey was quoted as saying.

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