Home | Operation Resurrection | Presentations | Medical Publications

Turn on the Lights!

As both a physician and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) survivor, Dr. Chrisanne Gordon is uniquely qualified to write this book. Her resume appears as preparation for TBI: training in science, internal medicine, and treatment of trauma; expertise in physical medicine and rehabilitation. She was already widely published in these fields, an invited lecturer and speaker, Board-certified in rehabilitation medicine, holding appointments at the Ohio State University (where she received her Doctor of Medicine), Riverside Methodist Hospital/Dublin Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Memorial Hospital of Union County in Marysville, Ohio; medical adviser for Columbus-area corporations such as Honda of America, Compuserve, Careworks of Ohio, to name a few.

In 1996 she suffered the TBI she describes in this book, and spent the next 2 years calling on all of the resources she had – mental, physical, financial, and spiritual – to work through her own recovery and find a new "normalcy." Dr. Gordon is dearly familiar with the many obstacles to recovery from a TBI, including the profound depression that is generated when you are "out of your brain."

By 2008, following years of expanding her right brain through writing and filming creatively, she was practicing medicine again, developing new expertise in a very precise form of rehabilitation. Her struggles came back to her when she volunteered to perform TBI evaluations at her local Veterans Administration Hospital; she was appalled by the fact that the young men and women she met during these evaluations were so often dismissed and over-medicated.

To increase awareness of the plight of the veteran with TBI, and to offer solutions for this global epidemic, she filmed the documentary Operation Resurrection, which was completed in 2011. In 2012 her Resurrecting Lives Foundation was granted IRS 501c3 status, and it continues to advocate for the proper diagnosis and treatment of TBI, especially in our returning military. A particular focus, based on Dr. Gordon’s experiences, is on employment opportunities as key for rehabilitation and successful re-entry to the civilian world. For over a decade, she has worked with the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense, in collaboration with the civilian world, to provide solutions for employment, education, and health care to benefit our veterans.

Buy the book

November 14, 2018 - Dr. Chrisanne Gordon Sharing Conversations about TBI

November 13, 2018 - Gray Matter Innovations Uses VR to Treat Veterans

September 21, 2018 - RLF-supported research study published in Neuroradiology - collaboration with Chrisanne Gordon, MD, Founder, Resurrecting Lives Foundation

Gray Matter Innovations poised to take digiceuticals for TBI/PTSD to the next level

Digital health, digital therapy, digiceuticals: evolving terminology which all refer to "software that can improve a person’s health as much as a drug can, but without the same cost and side-effects," according to a 2017 article in the MIT Technology Review.

In fact, Gray Matter Innovations (GMI), created in 2017 by RLF founder and chair Chrisanne Gordon, MD, believes that treatment of TBI/PTSD via technology is the way to go. "I want to make sure the nation understands that TBI is a brain issue, not a mind issue," she said in a recent interview for Rev1 Ventures #Startup Buzz blog. "The solution is to reboot the brain with digital therapy."

GMI is gaining steam this year, focusing on using virtual reality (VR) to treat mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) aspects affecting vision, balance, and comprehension. In April the company participated in PitchfestNW, a startup competition held annually in the Northwestern US as a part of the TechfestNW conference. Pitchfest invites a diverse group of startup businesses to pitch their companies to a panel of venture capital (VC) investors. While GMI didn’t win the 2018 competition, they did grab attention in the VC and small business world.

Virtual reality is defined by Dictionary.Com as "a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body." VR was first used in gaming, and in that context is quite familiar to the current generation of military members. Now, the applications of VR are multiplying, and adopting it for therapy for an injured brain is a logical next step.
While VR has been used therapeutically for PTSD, and is cited in research on assessment and clinical interventions for TBI, practical applications have been few and far between. As costs of the technology continue to drop, it’s expected that the use of VR as therapy will expand.
"After interviewing hundreds of veterans with TBI and their families, I joined forces with a software development engineer to bring TBI rehab to the veterans in their homes," Gordon said. "This is coincidental to the 2018 Mission Act, signed into law by President Trump in early June to bring health care to the veterans in their communities."

GMI continues to make progress in developing its technology base, with aims for a September pilot in Columbus.
"Nearly 750,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts have been affected by structural changes in the brain, TBI, or chemical changes in the brain, PTSD, as a result of their service to our nation," GMI declares on its website.

"The cost of untreated TBI can be devastating…. Technology can retrain and regenerate the brain, and empower the warrior to lead the charge on rehab."

Praise for Turn on the Lights!

"I truly believe Dr. Gordon has cracked the code on TBI. This book is going to save millions of lives including veterans and former athletes. Turn on the Lights is a must read for anyone who loves veterans and athletes like I do."

Jonathan Wells
J. Wells Media Group

"The personal approach with which Dr. Chrisanne Gordon writes is so powerful that it immediately draws you into a seeming paradoxical world of amazing terror and hope. The brain, we learn, heals in chunks, not gradually.. We learn that Traumatic Brain Injury is not a mind hurt, but a brain hurt. Medication and surgery aren't the answer, but tenacious patience and committed compassion are. Dr. Gordon is a witness to TBI, as victim and observer, advocates to complete healing of not just the injury, but of the whole person. Ideally, the salvation of those who suffer from TBI, veterans, athletes and others, will come when all stakeholders in the health care continuum come together and join forces in the fight, God willing."

Montgomery J. Granger
Major, U.S. Army, Retired

"As a combat veteran, I can attest that Dr. Chrisanne Gordon is an ardent advocate who also had experienced her own TBI. This book illuminates the subject and conveys the journey that had led Dr. Gordon to pivot towards a new direction. She has the propensity of being a leader, and as such addresses the obstacles –both legislative and medical–to achieve a successful mission –to educate, properly diagnose, and the treatment of TBI."

Wendell Guillermo
Software Developer and OIF Combat Veteran

"In her fabulous book Turn on the Lights Chrisanne Gordon, MD shows off her genius Through her innate ability to look into her own brain injured mind and recount her thoughts and emotions as she goes through the emotions and thoughts from the moment of brain injury to the moments of re-discovery of ‘herself’ as she used to be. She is a physician who has discovered one of the innermost secrets of caring for the patients–the physician must assume and carry some of the burden of pain, injury and emotion of the patient in order to know how to care for him or her.. This innate and unique ‘bridge’ between the recognition herself and her path through her healing brain injury process enables her gifts in dealing with her patients successfully and writing about it! This book is a rare work and insight into an injured physician’s mind and emotional struggle that must be read by all medical workers and patients suffering from brain injury and concussions."

Gerald Dieter Griffin, PharmD, MD, FACFE
Brigadier General, MC,USA(Ret)

"A phenomenal and captivating journey into the world of TBI’s from the perspective of a highly skilled physician and TBI sufferer. One’s personal pilgrimage, which effectively blends real life experiences with medical science, enabling all readers to understand this challenging condition. A must read for anyone even remotely connected to someone who has a TBI or could very well suffer one from serving in our military or playing sports to riding a bicycle or tripping on a walk. Equally, it is a must read for anyone in human resources to better understand the challenges of a TBI sufferer in the workplace."

Tim A. Garrett
Retired CHRO, Honda of America Mfg., Inc.

"I enjoyed your book very much! It is an intriguing combination of an intensely personal memoir of your own TBI combined with a plethora of evidence based information re brain injury. The books serves an important purpose in highlighting the persistent, serious consequences of even seemingly mild head trauma. This book deserves a wide readership among sports trainers, team doctors, primary care physicians, and even neurologists. Today, many patients with chronic post concussive symptoms get "blown off" as malingerers or whiners, doing them a serious injustice.

Importantly, the book provides hope that recovery is possible and resources are available to "turn on the light""

Janet W. Bay, MD
Director Neuroscience at OHIO HEALTH
Cleveland Clinic Trained Neurosurgeon

"Dr. Gordon brings a rare combination as an author, both as a physician with deep experience in rehabilitative medicine and as someone who has personally suffered a traumatic brain injury and knows how difficult the journey to recovery can be. She also possesses an unmatched passion to help those who have also suffered a traumatic brain injury. That powerful combination of experience and true understanding has made her a leading advocate in shining the light on this major "wound of war" that has, until now, been so misunderstood. This book will speak to those in the medical profession who treat those with TBI as well caregivers. Perhaps most important, Dr. Gordon provides hope, guidance, and light at the end of the tunnel for those that have that have experienced the same blackness that she herself has lived."

Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Retired