IT'S THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH AND DISABILITY IN CHILDREN-- KILLING MORE KIDS THAN CANCER OR ANY OTHER DISEASE.
EVERY YEAR, 475-THOUSAND CHILDREN UNDER AGE 14, SUFFER TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES.
NOW, NEW DISCOVERIES ARE GIVING KIDS A BETTER SHOT AT SURVIVAL.
THIS HORRIFIC ACCIDENT CHANGED JOE DETWILER'S LIFE IN AN INSTANT... THE IMPACT CAUSED SEVERE BRAIN INJURY.
"He just looked so still and unresponsive. you want to just hug him and tell him you love him."
THE TEEN SPENT TWO MONTHS IN A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA ... AND TWO MORE IN THE HOSPITAL RELEARNING... EVERYTHING.
("Show me two fingers, Joe...2")
"That's actually brain injury, the tissue looks dark because it's damaged." DOCTOR JOSE PINEDA HOPES TO HELP KIDS LIKE JOE...SURVIVE TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES...AND IMPROVE THEIR RECOVERY. HE'S PIONEERING RESEARCH IN KIDS...LOOKING AT TRAUMA TO THE MITOCHONDRIA. THE POWER PLANT THAT ENEGERIZES CELLS IN THE BRAIN.
"We confirmed what we had suspected and that is that, Indeed the mitochondria of children with brain injuries is failing, and it's failing for many, many weeks." NOW, THEY'RE EXPLORING A WAY TO STIMULATE THE MITOCHONDRIA IN KIDS WITH T-B-I.
"We would administer a medication that will travel to the brain to the injured brain, go directly to the mitochondria and help it heal."
CLINICAL TRIALS ARE GOING ON RIGHT NOW....TO TEST THAT KIND OF MEDICATION IN ADULTS. THE DOCTOR TELLS US THEY'RE PROMISING. IN AN UNRELATED STUDY...A SIMILAR THERAPEUTIC APPROACH IN ADULTS WITH T-B-I...IMPROVED FUNCTION AT 30 DAYS AFTER THE INJURY...AND REDUCED MORTALITY BY MORE THAN 60-PERCENT. ("Group hug...love you guys.")
AS FOR JOE..HE'S MADE AN AMAZING RECOVERY...AND BELIEVES HIS DOCTORS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
"I can't even put into words how thankful I am."
SINCE HIS ACCIDENT...JOE HAS GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL AND IS GETTING READY TO FURTHER HIS EDUCATION. MEANWHILE...SEVERAL DRUGS ARE BEING DEVELOPED BY RESEARCHERS AROUND THE WORLD TO STIMULATE THE MITOCHONDRIA IN T-B-I PATIENTS.