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Tracy Morgan Returning to SNL After Severe TBI


Tracy Morgan will host Saturday Night Live (SNL) this week in a triumphant return to the show after sustaining a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) when his tour bus was struck by a tractor trailer in June of 2014.

Promos for the show feature Morgan poking fun at some of the common consequences of TBI, such as memory loss and difficulty with abstract thinking. “Tracy’s awareness of potential deficits, and his willingness to joke about them signal a higher level of cognitive function than might be expected,” said Brent E. Masel, M.D., national medical director for the Brain Injury Association of America and president/medical director for the Transitional Learning Center in Galveston, Texas.

Morgan was more emotional in June when he spoke about his injury and his road to recovery in an interview with Matt Lauer on the TODAY show. In that interview, Morgan credited his recovery to the support of his family and praised his doctors and nurses at the Center for Head Injuries at JFK Medical Center in Edison, N.J.

“He’s a lucky man,” said Susan Connors, president/chief executive officer of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). “He got the right dose of comprehensive rehabilitation; most Americans don’t.”

Approximately 2.5 million people sustain TBIs in the United States each year. Few have access to rehabilitation of sufficient timing, scope, duration, and intensity that will allow them to recover to the maximum extent possible

When a person’s care is delayed, discontinued, or denied altogether, the result is often increased re-hospitalization rates and greater levels of disability. This creates a cycle of joblessness, homelessness, and dependence on public programs.

BIAA has funded a three-year study by the Brain Injury Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to develop treatment guidelines for adults with moderate to severe TBI. The findings are expected in June 2017.

For more information about the project, go to

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