Local Doctor Takes Former Patients To Camp In New Mexico

Dr. Tracy Grammer is a speech-language pathologist with OU Health. She helps people in more ways than one. News 9's Mike Glover has more in today's Something Good.

Monday, April 22nd 2024, 6:29 pm

By: News 9, Mike Glover


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Dr. Tracy Grammer is a speech-language pathologist with OU Health.

She helps people who have had a stroke or recovering from a traumatic brain injury, even those having difficulty swallowing, regain their ability to speak.

“My specialty is that I implant a special check valve in the wall between the trach and the esophagus to allow them to communicate after they have had their vocal folds removed,” said Dr. Tracy Grammer. A speech-language pathologist with OU Medical Center.

Essentially restoring her patient’s ability to talk. It’s a job that brings her great joy. “Watching people tell their loved ones that they love them for the first time after they haven’t been able to talk for whatever reason,” said Grammer.

After thirty-four years of helping people with traumatic brain injuries, Dr. Tracy wanted to help even more.

“I found out that, they weren’t doing anything. They were watching other people live their lives and they were sitting in the periphery,” said Grammer.

When heard of a camp in New Mexico for people with traumatic brain injuries, she called to check it out. “My name is Tracy Grammer and I want to come to your camp, and she said oh, we’re full, and I said that’s fine, I don’t need to participate, I want to come to your camp, and she said well we’re full and I said, that’s fine, I’m coming,” said Grammer.

Impressed by what she saw, the next year Dr. Tracy started taking campers with traumatic brain injuries to the camp. “Now we have about fifty to fifty-five campers, and we have about eighty-five counselors,” said Grammer.

The normal eight-hour drive to New Mexico takes the group about twelve hours because bathroom stops are usually every two hours and take around forty-five minutes.

For the caretakers of people with traumatic brain injuries, it is a time for them to relax, just knowing the campers are having fun and are in good hands. “He comes back, and he is so happy that he can dance with people, that people talk with him, he’s very alone at home,” said parent, Joanne Goss.

The trust of the families has been earned by Dr. Tracy’s care over the years, and it’s something she doesn’t take lightly. “It is a heavy burden, but it also makes my heart feel good, to know that I’m giving this to these families,” said Grammer.

She hopes to help the families never to stop believing in their loved ones.

“There is always the hope of tomorrow, and the hope of a new day, and people will continue to get better,” said Grammer.

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