Nikolai Yakovenko, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 in Palo Alto, CA. Yakovenko is a former AI programmer at Twitter who, five years ago while playing rugby, suffered a concussion that left half his body debilitated. After a week in the hospital, he was able to walk, but the right side of his body was largely unreceptive. He couldn't write, and had sensory problems: the sound of a dripping faucet would drive him crazy. He recently tweeted that he is now once again playing sports at full force, not thanks to doctors but because he decided to heal himself. Although he was fairly wealthy from having been an early Google employee, he didn't have insurance and did not want to pay out of pocket for treatment he felt might not be useful (he had gone to a pricey rehab place in the Meat Packing District, and they had him pushing a towel against the wall, which he viewed as useless). So he did his own research and found out about exercises that injured pitchers do to bounce back and repaired his brain by performing cognitive tasks: writing computer code, reading, playing cards.
Eric Kayne/For the New York Post
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