Recounting Tragedy: Austin Trenum Story

As the blog began in 2010 there were many things I hoped to accomplish by doing this project; I never dreamed this place would help springboard a family to recovery after the most horrible day of their lives.  However, looking back I am glad the blog was here for them and will remain here, for them and anyone else who need answers.

I am speaking of the Trenum family, specifically the tragic death of their son Austin, and how they chose to cope and “push on” after that dark day in September 2010.  In one of the most powerful pieces I have read, Patrick Hruby worked with Michelle and Gil to recount the last few days of Austins life; as well as what has happened since.  Due to my intimate history and wonderful bond with the Trenum’s I felt speechless after reading Hruby’s work in the Washingtonian;

It was Sunday, September 26, 2010. Michelle Trenum woke up around 8 am. Gil was out of town, returning that afternoon from a weekend drill with his Navy Reserve unit in New Jersey. Walker, ten, their youngest, was on the living-room couch, hiding under a blanket. He jumped up when Michelle walked in. Boo!

“Austin’s awake,” Walker said. “He’s in the basement playing a video game.”

That’s odd, Michelle thought. Austin never got up early on Sundays. Not voluntarily.

Not only will you be able to feel for the Trenum’s you Continue reading

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Austin Trenum Follow Up

Last year we were privileged to share with you a mothers note about her son and her great loss.  Austin Trenum never returned to the family on that fateful Sunday in November and Michelle, his mother, reached out to The Concussion Blog to share her thoughts.  After a very long road of recovery that included a new concussion policy for the Prince William County school district, authored by Gil Trenum, and a tough decision to donate his brain to Boston University the wait is over for answers.

The Trenum’s have received the answers that they felt from day one; Continue reading

Prince William County School District Setting Policy

After working with the Trenum’s since late last year I have taken a special interest in how Michelle and Gil have been doing.  Although they will never be the same, what they have been doing in their area has been nothing short of remarkable.  It feels good to me that parents like the Trenum’s have taken the initiative to help out, and are doing it in a manner that is professional and proactive.  After we ran that story Michelle got back with me with some thoughts and more specific information/wording in the school districts policy.

Thank you so much for all your help on this.  You really helped give Gil the information he needed to get the policy through.  The administration will now be working on the regulations and details.  Gil will stay on top of them to make sure all aspects are covered.  It was interesting in all the information the board received, the athletic trainers were credited the most as being the go to on this subject.  They were given ultimate authority over return to play which is good.  Although none of what passed would have made a difference in Austin’s case, once the final medical pathology study is released, we feel that it will keep the momentum on this issue to make changes.

Michelle and Gil not only sought information from people like me, but much smarter individuals; MD’s, PhD’s and the ilk.  With all that information she was willing to share the specific language the board is set to pass; Continue reading

Parents In Action

Gil and Michelle Trenum of Prince William County, Virginia have taken what was the most horrible day in their life and are doing something about it.  After Michelle so genuinely shared her story about her son, Austin — here exclusively with The Concussion Blog — her and her husband refused to believe something could not be done about it.  The Trenum’s have put forth a tremendous effort in connecting with some very “stout” individuals in the concussion research and management area.  It was not to find out why this happened so much, as it has been an effort to not let this happen again, to any parent or any kid.

Joe Conroy of InsideNova.com reported on a recent school board meeting, where Gil Trenum is a board representative, at this meeting was Dr. Gereld Gioia, cheif of the Division of Pediatric Neurosugery at Children’s Medical Center in Washington D.C.;

“A lot of people are asking ‘Why now? What’s so special about these times?’” said Gioia, who was invited by Brentsville District School BoardrepresentativeGil Trenum. “We have a perfect storm coming together in the sense that we better understand the brain, we have the resources at our disposal now that we can be informed about this injury, concussions, which are really a type of mild traumatic brain injury.

“There aren’t more concussions than years ago, but we have more knowledge about them and their symptoms,” Gioia said.

In the article is the issue that I have been trying to make more and more of, removal from school and cognitive activities.  However, this time it is Dr. Gioia explaining Continue reading