Meeting with Families of Servicemen Who Have Died

Dr. Perl describes the important and emotional meetings he has with the families of service members whose brains he has studied.

One of the things that I get involved in in this has been to meet with the families of our donors. And frequently they want to meet with us, find out what we found and what it means. And these have been very important meetings, because it shows us, you know, the real nature of the problem we’re dealing with and to be able to get their stories in terms of what it was like, to see a loved one completely change in a deployment and think … I mean, time after time they repeat to us and say, “He came back a changed person that we couldn’t recognize. He was never like this before.” Things of that nature. The other thing that’s been very gratifying is for them to express the fact that their loved one who’ve died, frequently in very tragic circumstances, is continuing to serve their country and continuing to contribute to the effort in terms of learning more about this problem so we can better deal with it. So we urge our families to come in and speak to us. Very often we get new insights into the problems they were dealing with and clinical issues that were particularly at hand and also be able to tell them exactly what the donation has meant to us and how it has contributed to our understanding.
Posted on BrainLine December 13, 2017.
(Photo by Cpl. Bobby J. Yarbrough/Released)