Realistic Hope: Aspirations for Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury

ABOUT Mark Palmer

Mark Palmer
Mark Palmer has been continuously rebuilding his life from his “new normal” ever since suffering a TBI 40-something years ago, when he was broadsided by a Detroit city bus.  Through 15 surgeries, countless rounds of physical, speech, and other therapies, and years spent refusing to fu More...



Realistic Hope: Aspirations for Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury is a concise, helpful book for survivors of TBI—or any life-threatening trauma or illness—and their family members, friends, and healthcare practitioners. Written by a TBI survivor and coach, the book cautions against expectations of a “return to normal” in favor of a more realistic hope: start where you are and strive to be a little better every day. Moving personal stories and practical tips help survivors and their families weather the acute crisis and understand the lifelong journey ahead.

At the age of 15 Mark Palmer was riding in a car that was hit by a Detroit city bus, went into a coma, survived 15 surgeries, had a dozen grand mal seizures and scores of shoulder dislocations. Now 30 years later he tells his story of recovering and finding a new normal. With sober insights he goes through every critical step following a traumatic injury and gives helpful advice for how to practically handle difficult situations. One of the things that make this book unique is inclusion of advice for caregivers. Mark acknowledges the need for communication among all the parties in the survivor’s environment. Despite the title, this book does not only address survivors of traumatic brain injuries. This is a book that everyone who has encountered misfortune should read. “As a result of these experiences I have learned that, while there is no such thing as a “return to normal” following a traumatic injury, it is certainly possible to live a great life and to pursue realistic dreams based on being the best you can be. The process begins with accepting where and who and how you are right now.” Mark Palmer

This is a must-read for physicians, social workers, and all health care providers, but especially for patients and families with any significant illness or injury. In my career in rehabilitative medicine I have seen many catastrophic illnesses. Traumatic Brain Injury is often the worst because it involves the brain.

Mark has been through the worst, yet has overcome most of his disabilities to become a success by almost any measure. He is a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and an accomplished entrepreneur.

He has used the knowledge acquired through his own successes and failures to give patients and their families a "How to” guide for negotiating this difficult territory. He walks the family through the earliest stages of the trauma until the patient and the family can set their own course for a successful outcome, no matter what the problem may be.

Dr. Francis Lagattuta, MD

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation