Always Hope: The Matthew Jessen Story

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Michelle Van Maanen

Second Advisor

Dr. Todd Mechling

Third Advisor

Dr. Miglena Sternadori


Brain Injury, Documentary, Hope, Matthew Jessen

Subject Categories



Everyone is at risk of a brain injury every day. The effects of a brain injury can range from the minimal to the debilitating. Matthew Jessen is a brain injury survivor and my brother. His story is one of struggles and triumph as he overcame an injury that could have killed him. This documentary examines the impact brain injuries have through Matthew’s story. It describes Matthew’s journey through his initial seizures, his stay at the Mayo hospital and the brain injury facility On With Life, and his return home and to school. The documentary also shows wide range of effects a brain injury can have on a person. The artist statement included in this document describes how I filmed and produced this documentary, along with my personal journey through making it.

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