Much like my medical past, my personal history is complicated.
I am an identical twin. A white African. A refugee. When I was 7, my family immigrated to the mountains of northeast Tennessee from Zaire. We had $100 and two suitcases to our name.
I lost my father at the age of 14, shortly after my family became legal here in the United States. My twin says that it seems as if my father worked his whole life to make sure that we were safe and provided for, and once he knew that we were, he felt released to rest.
I had my first debilitating migraine when I was 17. Since then, I’ve averaged a separate migraine every 3-4 days- with chronic pain and fatigue between.
My brothers and I worked with my father in his metalworking foundry every day from the time I was 8 until he passed. I worked in restaurants until the age of 18 before holding down various jobs that included inbound customer service and third shift in a mental hospital- all while working towards and receiving an undergraduate degree in Digital Animation and Multimedia/Special Effects.
After undergraduate, I moved into direct and consumer sales positions until my mid-twenties.
During this time, I still suffered tremendously from debilitating migraines. I lived in a medical purgatory. Traditional medicine was extremely gifted at damage control and triage, but had no answers for a patient who wasn’t a candidate for drugs or surgery. On the other hand, I explored alternative healthcare models that were innovative and effective in wellness and rehab, but had no understanding of how to care for complex cases. I was stuck.
So at 26, I went back to school. But this time, I pursued a doctoral degree in Chiropractic and a board certification in Functional Neurology at Life University. I decided I wanted to care for those on the margins who were abandoned, lost, or misunderstood in the healthcare arena. Those like me.
In the process, I learned that our minds, bodies, and souls are far more bent towards recovery than we ever imagined. The experience gave me hope for healing for myself and others.
After receiving my degree and certification in 2014, I simultaneously became a Lead Clinician and Executive Director of a multi-state clinic system with 55 employees treating complex neurological cases.
In 2016, I moved into private practice as the owner and clinician in Thrive Neuro Health. After years of graduate and post-graduate work, and over 1,200 hours of continued study, I now specialize in childhood developmental disorders, vestibular rehabilitation, movement disorders, neurochemistry, concussion and brain injury rehabilitation. As a clinician, I desire nothing more than to ease the hurt of those I encounter. My clinical focus is to help my patients, and myself, through functional neurology.
After years of attempting to resolve/cure my own migraines and chronic pain, I have begun to see tangible change. For so long I have seen patients recover sight, get out of wheelchairs, have brain injuries fully healed, and have hope restored after decades of hopelessness. And yet, I failed to find my own solution. However, my continued pursuit of answers has led me to a place where I have seen a 90% reduction in migraines during 2018. I, like you, have struggled and lost the battles of chronic conditions. And now I've also struggled and won some of those battles. My desire is to aid you in your efforts to win some of your own battles.
I have wrestled with God countless times over the years of my own struggle and witnessing that of those around me. I’ve had to fight to find Him near.
The nature of this dichotomy between healer and wounded, believer and skeptic, has taught me that sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes we are called to long-suffering and, in that perseverance, our character is developed. Eventually, we produce hope. I know that every person I have touched and changed clinically has benefited as a direct result of my own suffering, and that doesn’t make it any easier but it has taught me how to cultivate my hope.
I am most proud of the environment Thrive creates because patients and their families come here to ease the burden of their struggle. We strive to create a safe and welcoming environment for those who have been to more providers than they care to count, who have been told “no” too many times, and are at the end of their rope.
My passion is for empowering, equipping, and encouraging patients, colleagues, entrepreneurs, and the community around me to live wholehearted, healthier lives. I’m thankful for the opportunity to do so through Thrive Neuro Health.
I hope I get to meet you soon.