Did Mindy McCready’s brain injury kill her?
There have been a lot of questions about country
singer Mindy McCready's substance abuse and its association with
her recent suicide. But the question we should be asking is: "Did
Mindy McCready's brain injury kill her?"
Many people know about Mindy's violent relationship with the
father of her oldest son, Billy McKnight. McKnight was arrested in
2005 on charges of attempted murder for beating and choking Mindy.
Mindy suffered from seizures and she attributed her brain injury to
the abuse by McKnight.
It seems as though every day there is another story about a man
abusing his wife or girlfriend. But we rarely hear about the link
between domestic violence and traumatic brain injury.
According to a 1999 study by Dr. Kathleen Monahan and Dr. Daniel
O'Leary, more than 90 percent of all injuries secondary to domestic
violence occur to the head, neck or face. Drs. Helene Jackson,
Elizabeth Philip, et al., studied 53 women living in a domestic
violence shelter in 1998 and found the women experienced five brain
injuries in the prior year and almost 30 percent reported 10
injuries the prior year. In 2003, 99 battered women were studied by
Dr. Eve Valera, who found 76 percent sustained at least one brain
injury caused by their partner and 50 percent sustained multiple
In one study, individuals with a history of traumatic brain injury
had significantly higher occurrence for psychiatric disorders and
There are many ways the victims of domestic violence can sustain
a brain injury: a blow to the head with an object, pushed against a
wall or any other solid surface, punched in the face or head,
strenuous shaking of the body, falling and hitting their head,
being strangled, near drowning or being shot in the face or
The story of Mindy McCready highlights how brain injury is one
of the most important public health crises facing our nation, from
victims of domestic violence, to our heroes in the military to our
school children on the football and soccer fields sustaining
Brain injury is the leading cause of death
and disability for youth and young adults and we need to act
References and further information