Writing Center Director Jules Thompson shocked the Hamline
Community at a celebration in her honor, Jules Jam, by performing the lead
vocals to “Not Dead Yet,” a song originally written by the Bad Examples but
adapted by Thompson to fit her experience.
Thompson was hospitalized last
February after a traumatic brain injury and spent eight months recovering. At
Jules Jam however, the audience was inspired by Thompson's vigor and vitality as
she pumped her fist triumphantly and declared that she was “Not dead yet!”
The benefit concert and silent auction raised money to support Thompson
as she and her husband continue to pay off her medical debt.
excited by how the Jam was embraced by the Hamline community,” professor of
religion Mark Berkson said. “We had a lot of different groups volunteering to
make the event successful."
The Writing Center worked to print posters
and increase awareness and students representing such organizations as the
Residence Hall Association, Hamline University Student Congress, Hamline
Entertainment and Activities Team, Theta Chi fraternity, and Delta Tau sorority
volunteered to set up, staff, and assist at the event. Berkson’s band IBABA
headlined the event and then turned the stage over to the International Reggae
Thompson said she saw the event as a celebration of survival
and a chance for her to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury. As she
recovers, Thompson wants to use her experience to help others. She notes
the numerous veterans who have returned home with brain trauma and athletes who
have suffered brain trauma, as well.
“It’s like a silent epidemic,”
Thompson said. “But there are more than two million cases of brain trauma each
year. I want to help people learn how one’s life changes after a brain injury,
how you can’t do all of the things you used to be able to, but how life can also
become richer and deeper."
Thompson added that she would like to write a
book about her experience because most of the memoirs regarding head trauma are
“There aren’t many written from the perspective of
the actual survivor,” she explained with a smile.
To read more about
Thompson, check out her Caring Bridge website.