Giving Back Helps Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor Move Forward
Lynn Webb’s unique perspective and empathy prompts her to advocate for other patients
By Stephanie Spivak, Research Assistant, Center for Traumatic Brain Injury Research
Lynn Webb is a brain injury survivor and an active, impactful member of her community, volunteering and working with multiple organizations throughout the years. At the time of her injury, she was a seminarian at the Lutheran Theological Seminary and working for the Educational Testing Service as a learning and development specialist. It was during one of these classes that Lynn’s life changed; she fell and hit her head on a metal door twice, which left her with permanent brain damage.
After her initial recovery, she struggled to put words and sentences together and started battling headaches. Lynn stated, “I never had a headache before, and now I had three different ones at the same time. One was throbbing, one felt like electrical zapping, and one was continuous pain.”
Lynn had a lot of new challenges to overcome in the wake of her brain injury. She credits her faith in God and the various cognitive therapies she underwent to help her recover. Notably, she began studying Hebrew as she discovered that learning a new language can help the brain create new neural pathways, allowing her to continue to improve her ability to think and speak, as well as enhance her daily life.
Following her brain injury, Lynn decided to continue her studies and became a chaplain upon completing a master’s degree in divinity. After witnessing a patient struggle to lift his head because of the bright lights around him, Lynn began to understand that her experience had granted her a unique perspective and empathy that would allow her to advocate for patients like him. She could relate to the pain he felt and his psychological difficulties adjusting to a new life. She was inspired to advocate for other people with brain injuries and became a voice and source of comfort for them.
Since then, Lynn created a spirituality group at the Morristown Medical Center in addition to being a chaplain. She volunteers at the Washington Woman’s Club at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Washington, NJ, her local community pantry, and Habitat for Humanity. She is also a member of the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey (BIANJ) and received the BIANJ Gala Volunteer Committee Founder’s Award in 2016. Lynn has been a member of Kessler Foundation’s traumatic brain injury consumer advisory board for approximately six years. In addition to her volunteerism, Lynn loves quilting and proudly presented President Dr. Bruce Murphy of Centenary University with a quilt of valor in July 2023.