Brett Bullington, long-time Silicon Valley advisor, board member, and angel investor, suffered severe brain trauma in a bicycle accident outside of Bartlesville, Okla. last Monday. He remains unconscious at the ICU at Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Mo. According to his family, his condition is stable, but he may have suffered permanent brain damage and is facing a long road to recovery.
Bullington is an angel investor for Outfit 7 Ltd. and Carolina For Kibera, a non-profit charitable organization that aims to catalyze positive change in Kibera, Kenya, in an effort to alleviate some of the area’s poverty.
Bullington has recently taken up cycling as a passion, and decided to ride across the U.S. to raise money for CFK. His route across the country is posted on all of his social networks, and it’s clear that he was very excited to get going.
Unfortunately, on Monday, he lost control of his bike in northern Oklahoma on a downhill section of Highway 10. According to a fellow rider’s blog, Brett crashed face-first and was rushed by helicopter to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Mo. His wife Diana and other friends and family have joined him since.
They have created a Tumblr for friends and followers to keep up with Brett’s recovery.
As of yesterday, Brett’s high blood pressure is going down and he seems to be recovering from a bug that he had before his accident. But a full recovery may not be possible.
The doctors are quick to point out that the injury is severe and that the damage that has been done has been done. There is injury to the axons in the brain that provide communications between different parts of the brain. In severe trauma, the different portions of the brain accelerate differently, resulting in a tearing of the axons that create the communication links in the brain. These links are thought not to repair. The damage is thought to be permanent. But each case is unique, and the understanding of the brain is in its infancy. And if any case is unique, if any brain is an outlier, it would be Brett’s. So while the statistics are not in our favor, we are celebrating any new sign of recovery. Maybe tomorrow Brett can extend those two fingers. Maybe Monday he can flip the neurosurgeon the bird. That would be the Brett that we know.
Brett’s contributions to Silicon Valley are immeasurable. He’s been a part of this world for a long time, and helped launch Excite in 1995 before becoming an investor and advisor at Digg, Flickr, and Gowalla, among many more.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Brett and his family at this very difficult time.