By Wendy Harron - March 18, 2015

TBI Awareness: A Provider’s Personal Experience

Wendy Harron is an OT who has worked with IM for a long time and we always loved seeing her success stories. So, when we heard that Wendy had suffered a brain injury due to a fall, we were just devastated. Although our Provider network works daily with brain injuries, they don’t always strike so close to home. However, millions of people suffer from traumatic brain injuries and the lingering effects can take years to overcome. In some cases, individuals may never fully overcome their symptoms. Now, we have the first part of Wendy’s newest success story, her own…

 

TBI Awareness

I wanted to share with you all that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and today (the 18th) specifically is Brain Injury Awareness Day. You can show your support by wearing green, even if it’s just a green awareness ribbon since you probably went pretty green heavy for St. Patrick’s Day.

Traumatic brain injuries don’t just happen to teens driving cars or soldiers on the front line; it can happen to anyone at any time. I know because it happened to me 2 years ago. I was living my life, married, working the job of my dreams as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and enjoying life.

Then, it happened.

February 5, 2013 is a day that changed my life forever. My life has not been the same since I fell in my home and landed on my head and neck. My husband heard the fall and came running. I woke up to him pleading with me, “Wendy, are you ok!?” I can’t remember much of the next few hours, but I was diagnosed with a moderate TBI…me, a regular person living a regular life at 45 years old.

In my case, TBI is very much an invisible disability. Sometimes I get looks when I ride in my wheelchair or walk with my walking sticks or talk with a bit of a stutter when I am nervous. People still aren’t familiar with the lingering effects of brain injuries; they are just uneducated and we need to be the ones to educate them! According to the Center for Disease Control 2% of the population suffers from a TBI, and 35% suffer long term disability because of their injuries.

I don’t know what my outcome will be yet. I am still doing therapies on a weekly basis and while progress has slowed down, I am still progressing. So, help me spread the word and we can beat TBI!

 

Despite her injuries, Wendy continues to volunteer her time to children’s camps and she is a regular contributor to our blog. We just know that Wendy will fight her way back and we are happy to be part of her life. Thank you, Wendy!

And we want to help spread awareness of the effects of TBI.  The rest of the month is Brain Injury Awareness Month, so get the word out about the lingering effects of TBI. Even mild blows to the head can lead to life-altering symptoms. If you or someone you know may have suffered a head injury, please contact a doctor. Don’t take chances with your brain, you only get one!

 

 

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