Four years after a devastating motorcycle accident left him with the brain function of a child, TBI survivor John Keller visits with Shelly Miles, host of the TV show San Antonio Living, about his incredible recovery. Joining John and Shelly on the set are Gina Cruz of LearningRx, and John’s dad, James Keller.
Two years ago, the Kellers contacted the San Antonio Northeast LearningRx Brain Training Center. The Texas family was desperate for a solution to help John reclaim even a little of the mental performance lost as a result of the massive head trauma sustained in the accident. When he began working with the certified trainers at LearningRx, John—then 35 and a graduate of Texas A&M—was struggling severely with a brain that was functioning in many areas at the level of a three-year-old.
Until contacting LearningRx, this father-of-two had been working extensively with physical therapists to reclaim his body. It was time, the family decided, to reclaim his brain.
After going through one-on-one brain training at LearningRx, John’s brain is functioning today at the level of a 19-year-old, a gain of 16 years in brain performance in less than two years of training. The transformation, say those who know John, is astounding.
Gina Cruz, who owns the brain training center that helped John, explains that her company’s unique approach of teaming clients one-on-one with certified trainers is based on the science of neuroplasticity. “You can rewire your brain,” Gina explains. “You are not stuck with the brain that you have.”
She compares exercising your brain to exercising your muscles. “Just as being coached through an intense regimen of weight training stimulates your muscles to change and grow, being coached through an intense regimen of mental exercise stimulates your brain to change and grow, too, by strengthening and even creating new neural pathways.” She says this “bulking up” of the brain’s communication systems forever changes how the brain grasps and processes information.
One-on-one brain training has been so life changing for John that another family member has gone through the program, seeking help for a problem altogether different than recovery from a TBI. John’s six-year-old son recently completed LiftOff, a LearningRx program designed to give early learners a strong launch in school.
John sought the school-readiness program for his son after teachers recommended the kindergartner be held back from promotion to first grade. After John enrolled his son in the LiftOff program, improvements were so dramatic that the boy not only went on into first grade, he is now getting all A’s and B’s.
Now that John and his son have gone through LearningRx, John jokes that his dad, James, president of a family-owned business of 37 convenience stores, is next. Which may not be a bad idea, since LearningRx clients also include high-achieving career adults who want to stay sharp.
As John explained to Shelly Miles during the interview segment which aired on San Antonio Living, “You want good muscles, go to the gym. You want a good brain, work it out.”
His family, however, has a more poignant description of what brain workouts can do. In Vital Connections, a book chronicling the incredible journey of John’s TBI recovery, the Kellers say that, if John hadn’t undergone brain training, he would still be an adult trying to function in life with the mental skills of a child.
Brain training, they say, turned John back into a man.