About Tom

Tom was a thriving young IT professional about to leave for his dream job in New York. But a last-minute stop at a local chiropractor ended his career and nearly ended his life.

Tom suffered a massive stroke when his vertebral artery was dissected and the chiropractor refused to call an ambulance for more than two hours. When patients became frightened by Tom’s graphic injury and started leaving the clinic, the chiropractor abandoned Tom on the floor, incapacitated, and in the care of a young receptionist with no medical training.

An ER doctor then overlooked the severe vertigo, loss of coordination, and other obvious signs of brain trauma, failed to order a brain scan and sent Tom home with a dangerously swollen, bleeding brain. Two days passed and Tom almost died before a large regional medical center finally diagnosed the life-threatening brain injury caused by the chiropractor.

Due to deficiencies in Wisconsin’s malpractice laws, Tom never received a settlement, despite conclusive proof the chiropractor had dissected his vertebral artery and the botched ER diagnosis had further jeopardized his life.

The medical and other expenses caused by Tom’s injury are approaching half a million dollars and he still has major physical impairments that limit his ability to work. This injury financially wiped out Tom and his family, but there is hope.

There are rehabilitative therapies that could improve Tom’s quality of life and pave the way for him to have a happier, healthier, more productive life… but we need your help. Please make a secure donation today.

Join us in helping Tom build his life beyond brain injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why wait so long?

Some have pointed out that Tom's injury was not recent, and they have questioned why this effort for him is only being made now.


The legal case between Tom, the chiropractor and the ER lasted almost eight years. Tom and his family received legal advice that if they came forward they could be sued as other families have been. Additionally, GoFundMe and other online fundraising venues didn't exist, and only recently was Tom advised he could come forward to share his story and fundraise.

Another important point is that there is no statute of limitations on the complications caused by brain injuries. Tom is still struggling daily with the complications from this devastating event.

Why didn't Tom receive a settlement?

Wisconsin has some of the worst malpractice statutes in the United States. It is difficult, if not impossible to successfully sue a doctor or hospital of any kind in Wisconsin, even in egregious cases like Tom's. Tom tried to pursue justice, but found that despite conclusive MRI evidence of harm done by the chiropractor and the ER doctor, there was simply no successful legal recourse to pursue.


What are Tom's Daily Struggles?

Tom's injury has left him with intense vertigo, PTSD, and a spatial disorder that makes it difficult to do many essential daily tasks so many of us take for granted.

Traumatic brain injuries affect Tom's ability to sleep, hold a job, his ability to go to grocery stores, sporting events, concerts, and other common venues. It is a factor in everything he does.

Tom has come a long way in his recovery, but needs your help in getting the essential neurological and neuro-optical therapies that are essential for his recovery.

We Need Your Support Today!

Where do donations go?


While many organizations have large overhead costs, donations to Life Beyond Brain Injury go directly to funding essential needs for Tom. Some of these specific needs include:
  • Physical Therapy
  • Neuro-Optical rehab
  • Crisis Fund (to help offset lost wages)
  • On-Going Neurological Care
Tom’s medical expenses were, and still are immense. The injury also cost him his career. Please join us in helping Tom find his life beyond brain injury.

We are a community organization that supports local brain injury survivor Tom Hapka and raises awareness about traumatic brain injuries.

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