Derek Changes His Mind

  • Apr 17 - Apr 19, 2023
  • English Spanish 78 mins
  • Director | Derek Dabkoski, Ian McClellan, Im Joong Kim
  • Writer | Derek Dabkoski
  • Producer | Derek Dabkoski, Ian McClellan

TBI survivor Derek Dabkoski enrolls in an experimental stem cell surgery study to have stem cells injected directly into the injured area of his brain with the hopes of regaining some of the functionality he lost when he was brutally attacked and left for dead on the streets of San Francisco. He enrolls in this surgery at a difficult time for his family, as he and his wife Nadia, his primary caretaker with many restrictions because their long fight to get her a green card has been fruitless so far, are about to have their first child.

The story of Derek Changes His Mind follows the immediate medical challenges to Derek and Nadia, as larger systemic issues dictate the way they have to spend their days. From their tiny 225 square foot room above a garage, we root for the stem cells to repair Derek’s mind as we start to understand the daily challenges to this family, Derek’s life as a disabled person, Nadia’s life as a person denied access to the country she lives in and grew up in, and how a family stuck in these conditions have to fight constantly for the right and the means to live in and raise their newborn child in 21st century America.

Live Habitats
Derek Dabkoski
Ian McClellan