Foundation Supports Brain Injury Victims

The News Leader, September 4, 2001

The Associated Press

PULASKI — Greg and Fran Rooker formed the Jason Foundation after their son died of a brain injury. The foundation, an outlet to share information and raise money, developed Brain Injury Services of SWVA as a separate organization. Through the new agency, brain injury clients get one-on-one services that previously weren’t available in Southwest Virginia.
The foundation also has helped reignite an education program at George Washington University that trains students to understand brain injuries.
It all started in June 1996.
Jason Rooker was playing outside while his parents worked in the yard at their home near Claytor Lake.
The boy tied a rope to the branch of a tree. Then he either fell or jumped from a 5-foot-tall fence. The rope was choking him, and he would have died within minutes if his parents had not found him quickly and administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
He lived for 15 months, but the brain injury made him much like a newborn who needed to be fed and clothed.
The Rookers spend months searching for information to help their child. They formed the Jason Foundation shortly after his death.


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