How a mother and son defied the odds
JJ Virgin is a 4 x New York Times Best Selling Author, TV show Host, Triple Board certified Celebrity Nutritionist and a warrior mum.
In 2012 JJ's 16 year old son Grant was the victim of a hit and run accident and was left barely hanging onto life, after weeks in a critical condition and defying all the odds he slowly emerged from his coma with major brain trauma and 13 fractures and a near torn aorta.
JJ was told from the outset he wouldn't survive the first night, that he wouldn't survive the airlift to the hospital, that he wouldn't survive the operation and that if by some miracle he did his brain damage would make it a life not worth living.
But JJ is a fighter and she decided from the outset that her son would survive and thrive and that she wouldn't rest until he was 110%. The years of rehabilitation and the strategies she used to get him there is what we share in this interview.
This powerful story resonated with me because I have been through the same experience with my mother and I too refused to give up, had to advocate for her rehabilitation and took a multple pronged approach to her recovery as did JJ with her son.
This incredibly powerful woman is a testament to what the right mindset combined with love, belief, faith and the ability to build a team around her can do to beat the odds.
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Transcription of the interview
Speaker 2: (00:02)
Well, hello everybody. It's Lisa Tamati here at pushing the limits today. I have a really wonderful special guest with me all the way from Tampa in Florida. She's an absolute superstar of a lady. She's a celebrity nutritionist, four times New York Times best seller fitness hall of Famer and she's also a warrior mum and she has a very interesting story today that we're going to delve into both in her career and what she's achieved but also,uwas ubrain injury in regards to his son grants. We had a hit and run x events. So welcome to the show JJ. It's fantastic to have you. Thank you. Good to be here also.
So JJ, I just want to start a little bit of it with a background. If you wouldn't mind sharing, what you do and your, your books and your work a little bit. That'd be fantastic.
Speaker 3: (00:54)
All right. I am a nutrition and fitness expert and so I've got a bunch of books I've written over the years. Online programs. I speak, I do TV. I had a couple, I was kind of helped start reality TV because I was on Dr Phil's weight loss challenges for two years. It was really when that whole thing was kinda getting going. Then I had my own show on TLC called freaky eaters. So I've been really fortunate to just be able to work in something that I'm super passionate about, which is anything related to health and wellness. And then I also have an organization where we help other doctors and health experts get their message out to the world called mindshare.
Speaker 2: (01:37)
Oh Wow. And that is something that we definitely want to delve into a little bit too. So now I want to go back to you've got two sons, Bryce and Grant and in 2012 Grant was the victim of a hit and run accident. Can we share a little bit about that story and what you sort of went through with him and you know, it really resonated with me, your book and your story because a lot of the same dramas that you have over there, it was with the system a few like we have here as well. Probably even worse, the speaks and you had to be a real fighter and therefore the title of your, your book sort of really resonated with me as well. So can we go into that story a little bit and tell us what happened with Grant?
Speaker 3: (02:29)
Yeah, it's really a story I realized after the fact. It's really a story about what it takes to be a caretaker and I think that's important to underscore because it's a role all of us will have to play, right? I mean, at some point in your life you're going to be taking care of kids, you're going to be taking care of your parents. Maybe you're taking care of both at the same time or a spouse or siblings. So it's, it's one of those roles in life that you will probably face and how you show up during that role can make the difference between life and death for that person. So and also you know, how you show up is going to make a difference on your personal health too. So the grant was 16 years old. My other son was 15 years old.
Speaker 3: (03:15)
Bryce and grant went out to walk to a friend's house one night and got hit by a car and I didn't see this. A neighbour didn't see him getting hit. He just saw him lying on the street. You saw this woman get out of her car, gasp, get back in and drive off. And he then called nine one one and he was airlifted to the local hospital. When we got there, they told us that he had a torn aorta and it was going to rupture sometime in the next 24 hours unless it got repaired. But that he would never survive the airlift to the next hospital. They couldn't repair it there. He would have to, but that he wouldn't survive that. And even if you were to survive that, he would most likely not survive the surgery. And even if you were to survive that, he'd be so brain damaged.
Speaker 3: (04:07)
It wouldn't be worth it. I mean, literally they said that, I remember looking at this doctor going, he didn't, did he say that? And My 15 year old looked at the doctrine, he said, well, maybe like, is there a 0.25% chance he'd make it because the doctor already said his aorta was going to rupture sometime in the next 24 hours. And the doctor said, that sounds about right. Bryce could looked over at me. That's not zero. You know, and we're like, we'll take those odds. And because I think any, any parent out there or anyone who loves anybody would have to agree that as long as there's a chance, even if it's the teensiest little chance, like you've got to go for it, you know, you've got to fight for it. I mean, the idea that I was gonna let my son die here, there was absolutely no way I was going to do that.
Speaker 3: (04:52)
So we overruled. This doctor. Had Him airlifted. He survived the airlift, went through surgery, he survived that surgery. Now when he came out of the surgery, he had a stint in and he was, his aorta was fine, but he was in a deep coma. The neurosurgeons were like, we don't know if he'll wake up. And I remember standing in the hospital and he had 13 fractures. He was in this deep coma, multiple brain bleeds. And there were like literally Lisa, two little fingers I could hold on to everything else was either covered with road rash. It was bandaged shoes and cast. And I was standing there holding this little fingers and I said, grant, you know, I love you so much and nothing, you know, just the beeps of the machine he had, he was on a respirator, he had a central line. So it was all these things being monitored.
Speaker 3: (05:43)
And then I said, and your brother Bryce loves you so much. And I felt the littlest fingers squeezy and Huh. And then I said, you know, grandma loves you so much, nothing. And I said, your girlfriend Kenzie loves you so much. And that's when I felt this big by my hand getting picked a little bit up. And I said, you know, grant, you're going to be 110% your name means warrior. I got this. I've got so many friends in the business who can help, but I need you to fight. You've got to fight, you've gotta hang on for me and your name means warrior. Turns out. So I said, you just got to you. You've got to fight all, handle the rest and we're going to get you to be 110% and I just lived that 110%. I was so afraid to let anything else get into my brain that, that you know, the what ifs.
Speaker 3: (06:31)
Like what if he doesn't wake up? What if he can't walk away? I just, cause I felt like if I thought it, it would happen. So I've always been one of those people who believes that you can, you can create your reality. And I just managed my mindset. I stay focused on the 110% and you know, and there are a lot of times in there, things were not looking like they were even gonna make it to like 30%. You know, I'm much less a hundred, much less this like unrealistic number that doesn't exist. But I will tell you today, after being told that he would never survive an air lift or surgery, he'd be so brain damaged. He'd never wake up, he wouldn't walk, he couldn't hear like over and over and over again. He is better than before that accident is so, and you know, it has been this thing in our life that has made all of us in the family so much better and stronger because now you know, the, the things that would average most people would get rattled about, the average person would get upset about, they don't even like, they don't even trick, trick trigger us at all.
Speaker 3: (07:39)
Like we're like, Eh, no one's dying here. You know, and I'm sure you relate, right? I mean like stuff like this, you realize the stuff that people let get them upset on a regular basis. It just doesn't, who cares? You know,
Speaker 2: (07:57)
Actually. Yeah. And I mean, I've, my lesson is, know my story with my mom and very similar, not gonna survive if she does miss and brain damage, if she, you know, when she did wake up after weeks in a coma sh lights on, nobody home
Speaker 2: (08:16)
Years and years of rehabilitation and we're out a story's cross. And why this is so important for me is that you never gave up. You keep your mind on the know. Exactly. I had that 110% in my head too when I go around still saying that. And my mom's only at 90%, so I wa I've still got a wee way to go. But in their whole process, it's not that you don't have doubts and disappear and times where you're on the ground crying going, oh my God, how am I going to get through this? But it's keeping it standing back up every time,
Speaker 3: (08:48)
Every time. And Hey, here's the thing, Lisa. So you went for 110% and got to 90
Speaker 3: (08:55)
That's a lot better than the zero they were giving you. Right. You know, like you look at it, I kept thinking, oh, I'm going to go for 110% if I get to like wherever I get to is better than the zero that they, the 0.25 they gave me. So you know, you just gotta keep going. And by the way, it's only been recently that he really has been getting to this hundred and 10% I just figured as long as he's alive, there's always something else I can do. It's something amazing I can do. So he is now better than before the accident. But now I'm not showing, you know, we're just going to keep
Speaker 2: (09:27)
Pushing. Exactly. And you've got to, you've got to keep that focus. One of the things, the, the title of my book that's coming out is called relentless. And that's exactly what you have to be is totally and utterly real. And I know, and with my journey, I came up against a huge opposition to the way that I was wanting to rehabilitate my mum in both the resources that I wouldn't try to get hold of. In my approach, I was criticized a lot for why are you putting you through such a rigorous and difficult training regime? Why don't you just let it be comfortable and know
Speaker 3: (10:07)
Rest, no wrestling cupcakes and just let her be
Speaker 2: (10:10)
Exactly. Cupcakes and this, I mean, I'm a ultra endurance athlete. I've been an athlete my entire life and I know so we, you know, do 200 300 kilometer races and things and I know how to overcome when your mind is trying to stop you. I know that people are capable of so much more than what we think we are. Yeah. What I have issue with, I understand that the medical professionals do not want to give you false hope, but to take away your hope creating. Huh. Any hope makes you have a weak action. Like you're not going to fight because you don't believe there's a waste at home. You know, here's the thing.
Speaker 4: (10:55)
Speaker 3: (10:55)
No one can take our hope away.
Speaker 4: (10:57)
Speaker 3: (10:59)
So what we've really got to manage is, is we're, we, we're putting people in the wrong places. What you're going when you're going to a doctor is you're getting an opinion. You can do what you want with the opinion. That's what you're getting as an opinion. You know, like the opinion of the doctor at the first hospital was the complete opposite of the opinion of the doctor in the second hospital. Why the first hospital doctor worked in Palm Springs, California, where the average age coming into the urgent care, the trauma center was about 75. Oh Wow. And for 75 year old with a torn aorta, multiple brain bleeds, multiple fractures, this would've been it.
Speaker 3: (11:40)
But for a 16 year old, it's not. And so the trauma center, we got them to, which is the second trauma centers, number two trauma center in the country in us, they see all sorts of gang fights, people thrown off, overpasses, all sorts of stuff. This was like not out of the norm. Right? So you're just getting their opinion based on what they know. And they're going to give you the best opinion they can based on the information that they have. And then you get to make the decision you want out of it. I think that we're giving people power where we shouldn't be, you know, so and yes, people thought I was absolutely crazy. But then they started to get behind it cause I started tell them what, you know, what I was doing and what we were going to have, especially when they walked in, said, oh he's never gonna walk again.
Speaker 3: (12:30)
I go, well, Huh. You know, he had a crushed heel. And I said, well what if Kobe Bryant were in this bed cause I'm pretty sure that you would be doing everything possible. So that's what we're going to do. And you know, then they told me he was in the second hospital, which was a rehab hospital. And they told me that you know, there was a swimming pool and they go in there. They go, oh he's not ready for that. And there was a gym and I would sneak into the gym with him and do stuff and they get mad at me. So then I got to t I got a little furlough where I got to take them out for four hours. So we took them to an Olympic size pool. We took a video of him swimming perfectly through this pool. Then we took him to the gym, and then I took the video of him doing all this workout stuff at the gym. And I said, he wants to be challenged. Human beings need to be challenged. They, you know, that's how we actually get stronger. We don't get stronger by doing a little less than what we're capable of. We get stronger by being pushed beyond what we think we're capable of. And that's what we have to do.
Speaker 2: (13:34)
I mean, that is just absolutely amazing. I mean, well, I had all this opposition when I was in the hospital that she would not even live for a few weeks even when she was stabilized. And that she would never, I would never be able to care for her. And I just, I, I was determined to take her home like this, you know, once they said, look, she's not improving, she's never going to do anything again. You have to put her in this, you know, a hospital institution. And I really fought tooth and nail to get her home and to get a little bit of support. So with caregivers in the morning for an hour and just, you know, for personal cares and some time out because she was 24, seven around the clock here and the, they would not give me the resources that I need. I had to really, really fight.
Speaker 2: (14:23)
And this is one of the important points that I've heard you make before too, and then abuse it. I've listened to did you have to really advocate for your loved one? You can go and, and you've, you're fighting against not only the, the, the accident or the aneurysm or you know, the, the results of that you're filing against the system that if you don't be a pushy, quite, you know, strong person. I mean, I'm, I'm lucky. I'm like, you, I don't really care if people don't like me when it comes to my mum, you know, like, I wouldn't
Speaker 2: (15:00)
Like a, a lot of, you know, oh, she's said pushy daughter. She's very forceful. You know, she's here again, me, I'm sure they hated me. And, and did not believe that I could do any of this. And I actually, at one stage, I remember going in and throwing my other two books at the doctor and saying, this is who I am and I am not putting my mom in a home and you better get used to it. You better give me what I need. And he still wouldn't, you know. So then I'm walking up brother, and who's very big man, and we got results. What we needed. You do, what ever you take to, to give your loved one the best chance possible. And you know, like with, with you taking grant into the gym and seeing, isn't it a, isn't it a beautiful feeling to actually get them out of the hospital situation and finally into some way like a gym or swimming pool surrounded with, with athletes and people that are actually all about improving themselves rather than being in a rehabilitation place where that's what I found that, you know, when she was surrounded by other young athletes training hard, she rose to the next
Speaker 3: (16:15)
Well think about, you know, what we know about obesity, that's super interesting. As they, you know, the studies in the U s about obesity being contagious, you catch it from your friends that you will tend to weigh what your closest friends way, even if they live across the country. And so one of the classic things I say when someone says, all right, well now I've gotten healthy and fit, how do I stay that way? I go find fit friends. So, you know, grant, when we took them, we took them out of the hospital after four and a half months earlier than they wanted us to. And then we had them in a Rehab Center for another month, but then I took them out of that, brought them home and I brought them to a training center that is the Athletic Training Center for that area. And they are amazing what they do. There are all sorts of, you know, like rope training, balance training power, like really cool stuff. And that's what we had them doing. And he's still now doing it to this day, like all sorts of crazy balanced stuff and you know, climbing and ropes and that kind of stuff that, you know, again, the average person won't do much less. Someone with rods in their thighs and, you know, he had ac joint problems, all sorts of stuff. And like
Speaker 2: (17:37)
He's fine, he's fine and he's fighting back. And did you with a brain injury? Did you have to teach grant everything from scratch again or did he start like with mum, it took me 18 months to teach mum just to roll over and bead, you know, it was that she couldn't push a button or she couldn't sit like she was completely floppy and no special awareness. Did grant have those issues as well?
Speaker 3: (18:05)
Yeah, that's very interesting. So grant was in a coma for a couple of weeks and I thought like in the movies, you know, in the movies someone's in a coma and then one day they wake up and they go, hi, I love you. So that is like shame on those movies. This does not happen this way. We, he didn't wake up from that coma overnight. It happened over time and a lot of time. And we basically got to start all over again at, first of all he did was stare off into space. He wouldn't make eye contact and you moved one arm has only thing that was in a cast. He moved one arm back and forth all day every day. And I was like, Oh, you know, and then we'd sleep off and on and then then you started, you know, being able to make eye contact. Then he started. Then one day I wasn't there at the time, which is so sad. His girlfriend came in and he said, I love you. And so he just, things started to come out, but we had to start all over again with teaching them how to brush his teeth, how to eat, how to go to the bathroom. He knew none of this, none of it. So it was quite like, it was like raising a very big, a 16 year old baby.
Speaker 2: (19:16)
Yeah. I had a 74 year old baby and they don't think very well.
Speaker 3: (19:20)
Yeah. Right. It's not a, it's very different.
Speaker 2: (19:24)
And, and, and this is what people don't quite understand is the dates of the rehabilitation. Every time you get something back, you realize there's another deficit that you haven't thought of. Yeah. You haven't come up against that problem until that one is sort of right. Right.
Speaker 3: (19:37)
That one installed and you're like, oh no, now they're going to get up. And they can't gonna have any balance. Oh, now that they want to get up, now they've got to go. You know, it's like, yeah. Every single thing was,
Speaker 2: (19:49)
Was relearning and retraining the brain. Now you were very, in a very lucky situation, you hit some of the world's top doctors and brain doctors like Dr. Daniel Amen. Who's amazing. They supported you through the students. [inaudible] Yeah, most of them don't have such amazing friends, if you like. And the opportunity to get the information that you needed. I want to go a little bit into the, like the supplementation side of things and then get into hyperbaric because hyperbaric is something that we both did. And I know with my mom, it was absolute key factor in her recovery. Can you tell us what your nutritionist, you're an amazing nutritionist, triple board certified, you know, everything about the right foods. What's wrong with the stuff that they give you in the hospital?
Speaker 3: (20:41)
Things grant said was, you know, when they tried to give him hospital food was disgusting. And I was like yeah, I made a point, especially at the first hospital, the second hospital had better food, but the first hospital had just the typical, it was a county hospital and it was all processed. It was horrible. Honestly. It was like ensure and white bread and I mean just horrible stuff. And he needed wholefoods. He needed you know, good and mega threes, he needed lots of vegetables. There was none, there was nothing there to be had. And so I made a point of bringing and it was a pain in the bucks. His hospital's parking lot was under construction, so I'd end up parking anywhere from a mile to two miles away every single day. And it wasn't in a great neighborhood. So sometimes this would be like six in the morning, nine at night.
Speaker 3: (21:38)
So it was like, I look at me, I don't, I don't know how the heck I would do this and I would bring a cooler bag of stuff cause there was nowhere to store it there. There was no fridge or freezer or anything else I could use. And so I would just bring this stuff in and I'd make him me smoothies where I'd put fish oil in and Greens and load him up with supplements that he needed. Cause my gosh, when you're healing like that, he had 13 fractures and your brain is healing. You need to be, have heavy duty nutrient dense food and supplements like you don't, this is when you need the most of it. And the last thing you should be doing is eating white flour and you know, bad fats and sugar. Like are you kidding me? You know, we don't want to waste calories here. We've got to make every single thing counts. So I was getting wild salmon and bone Brah and Avocados. I mean I was just loading him up with stuff and thankfully once he started to eat he was a pretty good eater. But you know, at first it was mainly smoothies.
Speaker 2: (22:41)
Yeah, a new triple a was my best friend. That was a thing I could get into mum cause she could only draw. And this is really, really important that you talk about fish oils and there's a whole lot of other supplements that can really help with brain health. And this is not general knowledge. This is I did CBD oils. I did you know, fish oils anything that was anti-inflammatory, tumeric and things like this. What are some of the secret sauce things, if you like that you grant, and I know you hit them on high doses of fish oil.
Speaker 3: (23:20)
Well, high dose fish oil was definitely the biggest one that we did. They wouldn't let us do it right away. Now, here's what I would say is prior to the accident he was doing five grams of fish oil a day. I believe that that was one of the key things that helped him get through this because it protects your brain. You never know when your brain is going to get injured, right? And if you've got that on to begin with before it happens, you're going to be in better shape. So he had an on board to begin with. Then as soon as I could, the hospital refused to give him more than two grams. So as soon as he took out his feeding tube, which he spit out himself, then I started in. And so that's how I got the fish oil up.
Speaker 3: (24:04)
Cause I gave this the hospital, the studies and they refused. And the next thing I did was make sure that he had a lot of protein on board and good amino acids because, and that's why something like bone broth or adding Collagen, you need all of that so he can, he can heal. He had all these broken bones, he had so much healing to do and he was sarcopenia. Q had been catabolic from you know, being coma and then not moving and then being on a feeding tube. So I kicked his, his protein way up and I was giving him also these really good amino acids. Super you know, bioavailable. And then a lot of, I did vitamin D. Um, I couldn't give him k cause he was on Warfarin, which you know, it was a little bit, I just gave him vitamin D and then I gave him trying to think about curcumin Acetylcarnitine a ton of brain nutrients like I just through the brain nutrient book at him at the time CBD wasn't out yet.
Speaker 3: (25:10)
So it wasn't a thing. Otherwise I would absolutely do that. I gave him progesterone and topical progesterone and I don't know, cause the studies, I did it based on Donald's Donald Donald Stein's work out of Emory university on how they saw that reduce brain inflammation. I don't know if it did or not, but here's the thing, like, you know, people ask what worked and I go, I don't know cause I did everything I possibly could and I figured I did things based on what was the pathway, how would it work and what's the risk versus what's the reward, the risk. We're so low on progesterone versus the potential reward, you know, same with like Fischel. There's no, there's no risk there. The rewards way bigger. So I, that's how I just started dosing. Everything is risk versus reward. When we got him out of the hospital, then I could start hyperbaric.
Speaker 3: (26:01)
We did multiple rounds of stem cells. I think five rounds of, of stem cells. We thread doing stem cells straight into a spine. Wow. And we did a lot of neurofeedback and a lot of exercise, a lot of bringing, like to me, if you to pick one thing that is the most under and has the biggest impact, it's exercise, it raises something called BDNF Alpha. It's going to help you create, you know, create a new brain so to speak. So super important fact that yeah, this is, this is really important. Oh yeah. Yeah. One other thing we did obviously first in the hospital was to and then I wrote to him on this a couple times. Obviously, you know, sugar and gluten are gone, but we had him on a ketogenic diet because when you have a brain injury, your brain can't get glucose in, but it can use ketones for fuel. So, and you can use you can use exotic genus ketones if you have an issue not being able to do that where you're at, like based on what they're feeding. So there's other ways to do it, but that's what we did.
Speaker 2: (27:11)
Yeah. And those are all really important things. So exalted in as keen t times you can get and things like that. MCT Oils and
Speaker 3: (27:18)
Yup. Oh, an MCT oil. Yes, we use that. And coffee. You know, coffee has helped him a lot too. So coffee, MCT oil, lot of healthy fats, a lot of fish. Doesn't really, sugar doesn't eat gluten
Speaker 2: (27:35)
And, and all these things. And this is one of the things that I've, you know, cause I get asked a lot too, what was the one thing that you did it, it's a multifaceted approach. There's no, there's no silver bullet.
Speaker 3: (27:50)
There is one. Lisa, there is one silver bullet and I think this is the most important part of this story is the most important thing that you did was to make this decision that you are going to do everything you possibly could to help her. And relentless and to do what it takes. And that's the decision I made that night in the hospital. And I think the important takeaway is when you make that decision, there's the most important thing that you have in your arsenal in order to pull that off is you. And in order for you to help your mom come back, the thing you have to do before all else is make sure that you, you put yourself in your health first, that when you think about caretaking, you're the first person you take care of because you cannot help someone else unless you are like at the top of your game. And this is a tremendous amount of stress. And I find with so many people, they just stopped taking care of themselves. So super duper important when you look at this to take care of yourself first. Never feel guilty about it. It's actually selfless to do it. Not Selfish because then you can really show up like you need to.
Speaker 2: (29:00)
Yeah. Is, and that's something I probably didn't do too well for the first couple of years and ended up quite sick myself. And, and you know, it was its own journey, but that's a really important point because when you, you're, you pouring in, you're giving all the time, every day, all day. You know, I still work with my mum seven hours a day, even though like now she's driving the car and got a full driver's license and walking and doing everything again, I'm still like, you're like, I want that 110%.
Speaker 3: (29:29)
Oh goodness. At this point of what she went through and how far she's come.
Speaker 2: (29:34)
He has no recollection of the first 19 months. And so she can't believe. And I, you know, I show her the videos and the little, you know, photos and stories that we've got and she's just like, Nah, that's, that's, you know, I, I can't remember any of that. Or I was like, you're very lucky. You don't really cause it was horrific and it's really horrific to look at the, in the eyes of your loved one and they don't know who you are and they don't know what's happening to them. And then to actually see them come back into, be like fully like your whole personalities. The same. She's intelligent woman again. You know, it's just so wonderful. I remember the first time my mum actually rang me on the phone after, I don't know, a year and a half or something and I was just crying my eyes out because she'd worked out how to use the phone, you know, and she could, you know, just the little things like that, you just know, oh, this is working.
Speaker 2: (30:28)
And she's coming back. And the, the biggest thing I found too was that on the day to day grind, because it is a grind, it's a day to day battle of training that you, you don't see the progress often for months at a time. You will see nothing happening and things are happening on the cellular level, but you don't see them. And this is where most people give up in that time when you're in a plateau. And if you can push through that, then you can look back and all of a sudden you have another, you know, another little jump in your abilities. And you'd get something back and you'd look back and how far you've come. But when you measuring it on a day to day basis, you're not actually
Speaker 3: (31:09)
Never, you know, I say this to grant now because he's made some tremendous strides and he doesn't see it. I go, because grant, you don't go out and look at the grass everyday and go, wow, look how much the grass grew from today. But if you went out and looked at the grass f not cutting it for two weeks, you'll look at the grass. Holy Moly. So I go, you cannot, you're going to have to take my word for it. And people who are like seeing you once a week or once a month, you're never going to see this ever. And that's really how life is. Like, you know, everyone wants to have that success. They see the person with the bestselling book or you know, win the race and they think that that just happened and they don't see the grind. And so to me, the paralleling life life is a grind and it's a little consistency every single day that create what we see. Like, people look at grant, I'm sure they're looking at your mom and they go, it's a miracle. I go, it was really flipping grind.
Speaker 2: (32:10)
A lot of miracle is fricking hard work. It is. And, and this is something that fascinated me with your story too because okay, I'm not as, as amazingly successful as you are. And but you had to continue your career. You keep writing your books. I remember you saying, you know, sitting on the side of your son's bed and trying to get your needs, you, your book out, which was at that very same time sort of thing. And
Speaker 3: (32:36)
I remember a sweet woman wrote in, posted on my Facebook page and she goes, don't worry about your job. It will be waiting for you. And I thought, yeah no app won't actually the New York publishers, that will be that, you know, it's like I have a, I have a book, I have everything invested in it. If it doesn't go, I will not get another book deal and I'll be bankrupt and then I will not be able to take care of my son. And so, you know, I don't have a job waiting for me. I run my own business. If I'm not there, it's not happening. And so there wasn't that option. There just was that, that realization that if I want my son to be 110%, I'm going to need to be even more successful because this is not free. You know? And a lot of this stuff that you do, like hyperbaric [inaudible] never covered that stem cells insurance never covered that.
Speaker 3: (33:33)
You know? So it's like, so many of the things that I was doing, insurance just didn't cover. You know, we had he had heavy metal poisoning from some of the stuff and insurance didn't cover that. I mean, just thing after thing after thing. Right. So it, you know, you just, you just do it. You have to do. And it's amazing what we have a capacity to do, you know? Yes. And I, I think for so many people, they're not where they want to be in life because they make success optional. And it wasn't optional here. Right. I mean, in order for me to do what I needed to do for my son, success was no longer an option. It was required in order for me to have what I needed to be able to take him, get him what he needed. And so that was that.
Speaker 2: (34:24)
Yeah. And you had to stay absolute. This is where the mindset stuff really, really kicks in. And I think because you know both you know, running your own companies and you, you have a huge city successful empire now, but it's the combination and years and years and years of work. And if you dropped the ball for five minutes, when you run your own company, that can be the, you know, it's, that cycle wasn't, as I said difficult to coordinate all this stuff. So you have to, I would have to work with mum all day and then I would come home at eight o'clock at night and work til one in the morning in. This is where I burnt out of course working on my businesses and then, you know, wake up at six in the morning and re repeat rinse. And repeat for day in, day out, seven days a week for the last, you know, four years nearly.
Speaker 2: (35:17)
In prior to that, it wasn't exactly not working either. You know, like you were still working like mad and it costs a lot of money to rehabilitate someone. I mean, we, we didn't have a hyperbaric er clinic over here at all, so I had to go into commercial dive company and begged them to be able to use their their chambers. And then I got xs for a little while and then it had to be taken off on a contract. So I had to mortgage the House and buy a hyperbaric chamber, a mild one. And then I actually opened up a clinic because I was such a success.
Speaker 3: (35:50)
Of course you did because you're an entrepreneur. Exactly.
Speaker 2: (35:54)
And I want to be able to have access to this planet. I'm so good on now. So someone else's running it, but people have access to it. And hyperbaric as a, as one of the key things that I just do not understand why it's not an every hospital in every country of the world. Why this is not often for so many things is because I know no lemon drug money behind it. And this is just tragic for so many people that could be helped by this amazing therapy if they would take it, you know, have enough treatments. So there's a lot of things wrong with the system, not only in America, but in New Zealand. So what would be your advice to people if they're facing something like a brain injury or anything in the hospital if they've got a loved one? How do you know, how do people, I mean, we have access to the Internet. We have resources. We know how to research. We know how to, you know, take action. A lot of people listen to the doctors, either experts and just leave it all up to them. That really isn't gonna work as it.
Speaker 3: (37:00)
So the doctors, the hospital saved my son's life. And literally put him back together again. And I think what we do wrong here is that we, they are, they're amazing at trauma. And at that piece of it, what they weren't, and they told me they go, this is not our part. We don't do the Rehab. We don't do this piece. They are in the urgent emergent here. Like these bones are broken. The say orders rupture. Like what, what do we need to do? And so just making sure that you're, like, for some reason we think of say a emergency room doctor is not where I would absolutely go if my son broke his leg is not the person I would go to if my son's moods were unstable or if he, you know, didn't have the energy he needed to have. Like we're going, we're assuming that they do everything.
Speaker 3: (37:57)
And when you really look at it, that is this trauma care, you know, and there's trauma care and then there's disease care and then there's health care or wellness care and there are all different things. But yet we go to two doctors expecting like expecting them to have all the answers, which doesn't make any sense. You'd never go to a gynecologist with a tooth problem. Right. You know, I mean it just, you wouldn't go to your hairstylist for a manicure. Like let's, let's put people ask the right things of the right people because in their zone of genius, like it's amazing. I mean, my son wouldn't be here except for some of these amazing at Harbor UCLA and at Children's Hospital La, you know, I mean they were just incredible. But then we expect them to all of a sudden change gears and do a part of medicine that's not their part.
Speaker 3: (38:47)
And I'd argue that health care really, you know, the wellness side of it probably isn't, that's not where they should even, that's not their part, their parts trauma and disease. Right. Those are different. So I think the first part of all of this though is just making that decision that you're going to be an advocate for your or your loved one. And I know in the hospital they were like, oh my gosh, cause I'd be there every morning when the grand rounds came through and I was doing my research and I was pulling in my expert opinions and I was getting help and I was, and I was walking through and I wanted to understand it. And I have every right to do that, you know, and, and guess what, we have the right to ask for more information to question things, to bring in other ideas.
Speaker 3: (39:36)
We can do that. They don't, you know, they like it though. So we, yeah. Well, you know what if someone, I actually had, I had amazing relationships with most of them. I've, I, you know, one woman who was a bit snotty. But for the most part they actually were pretty cool about all the stuff. And I finally at Children's Hospital La, the meetings, which would have all the doctors and therapists had, me too. I go, you know, I see. I know things you guys will never know because you are not the mom. Like, so I got into all the meetings and we all helped guide the care because, you know, and it was very, very different. So I think it's really coming in from a spirit of teamwork and how can we work together? If I've got a doctor who doesn't want to work with any other doctors, that is not going to be my doctor. Just like, like right now, I just moved to Tampa, we're remodeling the house. And if I'm, I, you know, we have an architect, well, if the, if the person who's going to do the construction doesn't want to work with the architect, we don't have a, we don't have anything going on. Like they're not going to work together. Right. With the doctors. Like they all have to work together. And this is just expectations and don't let someone intimidate you. You're the customer. Yes. You're exactly right. You know? Yeah.
Speaker 2: (40:52)
Him and I did by the, you know, I think we put doctors on a pedestal sometimes, which I mean they're amazing, you know, intellectual incredible people, but they don't always know every answer there is in, just because you don't have a doctorate doesn't mean that you haven't been able to research stuff and find the best doctors that can help you. And you've also got a brain in your head and you, and you're sitting there 24, seven or you know, your family is around the clock with that person. They can see the changes where a doctor hadn't, he has five minutes to spend with you before they move on to the next one.
Speaker 3: (41:27)
Quite often we can see, give them valuable. I had a son with a psych disorder with a brain injury. Yeah. And so I was like going, you know, I can tell you what's new and what's old and where like they would never have been able to tell any of that stuff and what he'd been on before and what worked and what didn't work and where we need to go from here. And I mean that it was a big learning curve and I could spot when things were starting to go sideways with them. Like I could see it right in the middle of his forehead. They could not see it. I go right now, you know, so cause we had to medicate him enough to keep him calm and stable but not so much as bring wouldn't heal. So I mean there's, there's just a lot that can happen when everyone comes as a team and you know, it comes from what I want is an Improv called the yes. And you know, instead of the yes, but philosophies. So, and that's what I found is for the most part, they all worked in the, yes. And especially when I got to children's Hospital La, they were very collaborative. They took it team approach. Everyone from the nurses to the therapist to the docs all had, you know, important things to say and it mattered. [inaudible]
Speaker 2: (42:38)
Well, and it's amazing that [inaudible] grant is now back into life and loving life again and fully well and like you, let's talk a little bit about your mind share summit in your, you know, the work that you do. Cause I want people to, you know, that are listening to this to follow what you do, to read your box, to hop online and learn all about you. So JJ, tell us a little bit about your mind share stuff and what you're into at the moment and where you're going with your career.
Speaker 3: (43:07)
Well my career I've probably got two more books that I'm going to write in the health space. Wow. one much more on how a cure a kind of a caretaker's guide to surviving and thriving. Because that's what really came out of all this with warrior mom is that this really is like we're all caretakers. And then one about really how to, how diets do work were just using them wrong and how to, how to navigate your health. Cause we don't, you know, we don't change our health. We, we haven't been feeling rotten and being sick for 10 years and now we're going to change it in 10 days. You know, it's like takes, it's a process. And what we can accomplish in anything over a year is amazing, but we all try to do it in a week and then beat ourselves up. So working on those two things.
Speaker 3: (44:00)
But my real passion now lies in fact that I have been fortunate over the years to know so many amazing practitioners and doctors and so I've really devoted my life to helping them identify their messages and their purpose and get that out to the world and then find other people to collaborate with. So that's what mindshare summit is, is bringing health care people, health experts, doctors help entrepreneurs together. They can share ideas, support each other collaborate, not feel alone like so many entrepreneurs do. And that's really kind of my bigger, bigger mission now is how do I help people have better resources? When I was in the hospital with grant, I had amazing resources. And you know, now that the Internet's out there, you don't have to be able to send Dr. Daniel Amen. A text message. You can now get to this information. And that's, that's what I want to see out there is more easy access to information so that when these things happen, you can just plug it in and find out. And, you know, biggest threat we have to all of that right now is, is Google and the search engines trying to dictate what you should be able to locate and find. So we're also working on that piece to make sure that, you know, this information stays open to all and it's not censored, which is so obscene. Huh?
Speaker 2: (45:30)
Well, yeah. Now how do we get involved with that? Can we get involved with that? You know, from New Zealand's, because I mean, I'm very passionate too about sharing this knowledge. And this is one of the reasons why I've got this book coming out is because I want people to have the tools that I didn't have when I went into this situation. Yeah. And I, I, you know, I got access to it via the Internet. You know, is there ways that we can be involved with that from New Zealand?
Speaker 3: (45:57)
Which one, which, you know, mind share is, is if you are a health expert doctor, entrepreneur, yes. Mindshare collaborative.com gives you a place to join. It's a membership and then within that we're working on a task force for the rest of this. Cause you know, it's like the whole thing is how do you create information that everyone has access to so that money isn't, isn't the defining line as to whether you can get healthy or not. And you know, the Internet should be the great equalizer. It shouldn't be. All of a sudden you find out that these bigger companies have grand schemes because they own pharmaceutical companies and now they're going to keep the information from you. Like it just, it just is discounted. Really. Yes. It's evil. It's evil. But I think it's, it sounds like it's going to get shut down. If not, you know, there's other options out there. That's hopefully what we get through here with this group
Speaker 2: (46:56)
And with the box and so on. So JJ, before, just as we wrap up as you, any messages that you want to get across that we've, we've covered a lot of ground today. I know that you've worked on, I did want to mention the broken brain series, which I've bought and, and devoured the, the work that those doctors and professionals are doing. This has been a really important thing. I think that's a huge resource. If I'd had that four years ago, we've been brilliant, you know?
Speaker 3: (47:26)
Yes. Oh my gosh. But mark Hyman and drew per it have put together an amazing, Mark's been a longtime friend for like 20 years. You know, he's, he's just doing incredible things. Anyone with any kind of brain stuff going on, broken brain is just incredible resource source for you know, loads of interviews, et cetera. And then drew continues with this broken brain podcast. So there's that too.
Speaker 2: (47:52)
It on jury's podcast. Maybe you can put on a good or on your thoughts for that, that her with the [inaudible] stories.
Speaker 3: (47:58)
Well, yeah, you have to be in person. You must be in La to do. Yeah. So there's that. But the point is there's a lot of resources. I think the most important thing is that first, you know, when you look at what happens in life, it isn't like a, I'll give you an example. Let's say that you want to have a new sofa in your living