Younger Brother Contributes Invaluable Resource to TBI Community
The Service Provider Map connects the TBI community to local brain injury experts
By Paige Rusnock
At the age of eight, Jacob George suffered a severe, traumatic brain injury (TBI) that left him unable to communicate. His resilient parents, Jaya George and George Avirappattu, immediately adapted to the family’s new circumstances while also raising their four-year-old son Daniel.
Looking back, Jaya and George remembered vividly how Daniel, who read books and watched TV with his brother, brought great joy to Jacob during their time together. Now a senior in high school, Daniel had become more involved in his brother’s care and the search for treatments. Indeed, the family spent many nights searching the internet to find any bit of information that might help with Jacob’s recovery.
One night, Daniel looked at the breadth of work his family had completed over the years and thought, “This would be so much easier for others if one person could compile this information and share it somehow.” In that moment, the idea of his “Service Provider Map” was born.
He saw how busy his parents were and knew other caregivers were experiencing the same thing. “I wanted to provide a gateway for TBI patients and families to easily get the resources they needed,” Daniel said.
Finding an organization to partner with was the first step. “I knew the best way to get the map out there was to work with an established organization. The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey (BIANJ) had helped my family out so much, so I wanted to help them too,” Daniel explained. Once the organization joined in, he then needed to find a way to gather the information in one location.
Since he was adept in data science and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) programming, Daniel used his skills to create an application that allowed users to search for brain injury doctors, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and more. After spending a month working on the project, it was ready to go public.
The Service Provider Map is now live on the BIANJ website so patients and families will be able to spend more time working on their recovery and less on the never-ending search for providers. Currently, the map covers only the state of New Jersey. “I want to expand the map first by adding more conditions such as blindness, deafness and other physical impairments,” said Daniel.
When asked what message he hopes his story will tell, he answered, “I want to show that the brain injury community is strong. We’ll stick together and work hard for each other and the betterment of everyone in the community.”
Daniel did just that. He created the Service Provider Map not only as a gift to his family but as a gift to the entire brain injury community.
Scan QR code to access the Service Provider Map.