Hamline News

Writing center director recovers from traumatic brain injury, plans to write book to help others

Not dead yet 0 02 40-30


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.

"I’m 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 All Stars.

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 written secondhand.

“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.