BRITISH COLUMBIA’S VOICE FOR THE BRAIN INJURY COMMUNITY Fall 2007
RACES TO THE
Story Page 10
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isett & Company
INJURY AND INSURANCE LAW
I.C.B.C.? Wrongful death or injury?
Helping the injured since 1971
603-601 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 4C2
A resident care home directed towards meeting the needs of adults recovering from brain injury.
Marilyn A. Senador,RN
One morning in 1998, Greg Goldberg drove to work in the same way he had hundreds of times before. He entered a stretch of road that had been closed for some time because of construction. This was the first morning it was open. Greg brought his Honda Civic to a full stop at the intersection just as he should have; however, as he pulled away he did not see the double-ended gravel truck com-ing toward him. The truck slammed into the passenger side of Greg’s car, demol-ishing it and changing Greg’s life forever. Greg remembers nothing of the crash or the moments leading to it.
Life for Greg before that fateful day was different than life is today. He taught
Grade 12 English Media Studies and Film Studies at the Orangeville Secondary School in Orangeville, Ontario. Greg also coached the Junior Girls Basketball team. He was very much in love with Jenny, his bride of one year. Greg had many interests in life and enjoyed a wide-circle of friends. Greg’s family were also a large part of his life. His father, a dentist, bred and raced horses as a hobby. Greg grew up around the horses and developed a strong connection with the animals and an interest in racing. By all accounts, Greg’s life was full. The plans before him and Jenny were rich with possibility and held promise for a bright future.
Following the crash, Greg was airlifted to Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. He was in a coma for four days and remained at Sunnybrook for nearly one month. Although Greg does not remember much of those early days, he remembers that the medical staff nurtured him in the fol-lowing months. When given the opportunity, Greg brings oranges and chocolates to the hospital for the doctors and nurses while visiting friends and family in Ontario dur-ing the Christmas holidays.
Once out of a coma, Greg began the long journey of recovery. It wasn’t easy. In fact, his life became fraught with challenges. Initially, he struggled with impulsiveness and bouts of anger. Greg battled constant fatigue. Today, fatigue and Greg’s inability to multitask remain his biggest challenges.
Over the next two years after the crash, Greg’s circle of friends narrowed. The impact of his brain injury took a toll on his relationship with Jenny and eventu-ally ended their marriage. Although Greg and Jenny divorced, they remain good friends today.
Greg has adapted to his limitations and is proactive in managing and structuring his life so he can enjoy it to the fullest. One way that Greg was able to release the tension and stress of what hap-pened was to keep a journal. “Keep-ing a journal was such a release and outlet that I decided to write a fictional book based on my real life experience,” states Greg.
Greg’s book The Organ of Intelligence is “a dark comedy, the farcical story of Reuban Cohen.” The book follows Reuban’s journey from injury to a new identity as he strug-gles through therapy, fantasy and sexual addiction, losing all along the way. Much like Greg, Reuban loses his job, his marriage and life as he knew it before the accident. Today, Greg is upbeat, cheerful and full of zest for life. He doesn’t complain about his situation. Instead, Greg uses his experience of living with a brain injury to fuel his compassion and passion to help others with similar expe-riences. Although Greg’s life is vastly different post injury, he has returned to his interest and love of horses. Follow-ing in his father’s footsteps, Greg now owns and races a horse. Greg and Major Lees Crude, his third horse, are pictured on the cover of this issue.
Greg volunteers with the Victoria Literacy Program teach-ing adults how to read. He is also makteach-ing a difference in the community of brain injury by giving a portion of proceeds from book sales to Brain Injury Associations and Support Groups all across Canada.
The Organ of Intelligence is available through www.traf-ford.com. Reserving a date for a motivational session or a reading is highly recommended. To do so, contact Greg Goldberg by e-mail at email@example.com or call 250-858-0262.
September marks the return of children, youth and adults to school. Along with the “3 R’s,” students, big and small, sign up for team sports.
While participating in sports promotes a healthy lifestyle, plenty of opportunity to socialize, teambuilding, and technique building skills, it also brings some risk of injury. Bumps and bruises, sprains and scratches, are the norm. While these minor injuries can cause discomfort, a more serious type of injury, such as a brain injury, can cause a lifetime of suffering to the athlete and their family.
A concussion is a brain injury suffered by athletes; concussions can be caused by a direct or indirect hit to the head or body. Most concussions are a result of a person colliding with another object while they are moving at a high speed. It is extremely important for athletes to seek medical attention after sustaining a blow to the head or body in which they are displaying or suffering any signs or symptoms of a concussion.
The document Concussion Information for Athletes, prepared by Dr. Karen Johnston, Lindsay Davidson and the
ThinkFirst-SportSmart Concussion Education and Awareness Committee, lists the following symptoms and signs to watch for:
Nausea, vomiting Difficulty concentrating
Dizziness Inappropriate playing behaviour
Confusion Decreased playing ability
Fatigue Inability to perform daily activities
Light Headaches Reduced attention
Irritability Cognitive and memory dysfunction
Disorientation Sleep disturbances
Seeing bright lights or stars Vacant Stare
Feeling of being stunned Loss of bowel and bladder control
For more information on the symptoms and signs of a concussion, or to learn about the Return to Play guidelines, visit the websites www.concussionsaftey.com and www.thinkfirst.ca.
By Janelle Breese Biagioni
“Until all of us have made it, none of us have made it.”
~Dr. Rosemary Brown (First Black woman in Canada elected to public office)
We will listen
we can help!
Helping People for Over 25 Years
STEVE HERINGA KIRSTEN MADSEN BRAD GARSIDE
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Bringing a loved one from hospital to home following a brain injury can result in feelings of relief and a sense of joy. It can also be overwhelming and frightening. Fami-lies are afraid they won’t know what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. Also, they are often armed with a list of things that their loved one is not expected to do again. In my years of working with families and individuals who are living with the outcome of a brain injury, I’ve been privilege to hear their stories. They’ve shared how their loved one was told they would never walk or talk again. Some were also told that their loved one would never return to work. I’ve met many people who fell into this category; however, years later they are walking, talking, living independently and working or volunteering regularly. While I try to never give anyone false hope, I do strive to not dash their hopes either.
Years ago, at the first conference I spoke at, I titled my presentation Hope Begins with a Heartbeat. For me, as
soon as I learned that my husband had been revived, I felt hope. It was that sense of hope that sustained me as the impact of his brain injury was revealed in the following months.
The difference between the time of my husband’s acci-dent and the way things are today is remarkable. Some things have not changed; however, I believe there has been significant change in terms of education, aware-ness, and the way supports are delivered. In particular, many people working in the field of brain injury follow the ten principles of Dr. Barry Willer’s WIT Model (Whatever It Takes). These guiding principles address the complex needs and fragmented services that people who are living with the outcome of a brain injury often experience. The WIT principles are:
1. No two individuals with acquired brain injury are alike 2. Skills are more likely to generalize when taught in the
environment where they will be used
3. Environments are easier to change than people 4. Community integration should be holistic 5. Life is a “place and train” venture
6. Natural supports last longer than professionals 7. Interventions must not do more harm than good 8. Service delivery systems present many of the barriers
to community integration
9. Respect for the individual is paramount
10. Needs of individuals with brain injuries last a lifetime; so should their resources
From my perspective, the more that we can work within the context of these principles, the likelier it is that fami-lies and individuals living with the outcome of a brain injury will not get left behind.
Abbotsford Carol Paetkau 604-557-1913 TF 1-866-557-1913 Acquired Brain Injury Society of the Yukon Anne-Marie Yahn 867-668-5283
Alberni Valley Head Injury Society/Port Alberni Linda Kenny 250-724-6772 Barriere/Merritt Dona Salwach 250-372-1799 British Columbia Brain Injury Association Patti MacAhonic 1-877-8581788 Bulkley Valley Brain Injury Association Eileen Klassen 250-877-7723 Burnaby Survivors Support Group Mary Head 604-435-3125 Burnaby Chinese Brain Injury Support Group Angela Kan 604-877-8606 Campbell River Head Injury Support Society Diane Groner 250-287-4323 Caribou Brain Injury Society Shilo Toews 250-305-2518 Central Okanagan Brain Injury Association Jill Howell 250-762-3233
Chilliwack FVBIA 604-557-1913 TF 1-866-557-1913 COBIS - Vernon Contact Stacie Gadsby 250-306-2064
Comox Valley Brain Injury Society Dixon Hiscock 250-897-1255 Comox Valley Head Injury Society Mina Morehouse 250-334-9225 Coquitlam Support Group LMBIA 604-521-0833 Cowichan Valley Head Injury Support Group Barb Grantham 250-748-9338 East Kootenay Brain Injury Association Dawn Widdifield 250-417-6220
Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association Carol Paetkau 604-557-1913 TF 1-866-557-1913 Golden Brain Injury Support Group Donna Madden 250-344-5688
Kamloops Brain Injury Association Helen MacKenzie 250-372-1799 KBIA - Salmon Arm/Shuswap Contact Teresa Wolfe 250-833-0369
Langley/Aldergrove Brain Injury Support Group FVBIA 604-557-1913 TF 1-866-557-1913 Lower Mainland Brain Injury Association Gabrielle Martin 604-521-0833
Lower Mainland Family Support Group Julia Murrell 604-269-2320 Maple Ridge Support Group Ian Moore 604-944-9030
Mission FVBIA 604-557-1913 TF 1-866-557-1913 Nanaimo Brain Injury Society June Herrington 250-753-5600
New Westminster B.R.A.I.N. Tina Suter 604-540-9234 North Okanagan Shuswap Brain Injury Society (Salmon Arm/Shuswap) Lori Watchel 250-833-1140 North Shore Family Support Group Gaeron Caldwell 604-657-6760 Head Start Support Group Patricia Pereira 604-984-0666 Peace Country Society for Acquired Brain Injury Linda Proctor 250-782-7519
Powell River Deborah Dee 604-485-6065
Prince George Brain Injured Group Society Alison Hagreen 250-564-2447 Richmond Brain Injury Support Group LMBIA 604-521-0833 Sea To Sky Brain Injury Program Suzie Beliveau 604-521-0833 Sechelt/Sunshine Coast Brain Injury Support Group Susan Goddard 604-885-8524 South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society Lisette Shewfelt 250-490-0613 Surrey / Delta Brain Injury Support Group Douglas Rich 604-537-6303 Terrace Support Group Mark Barnes 250-638-1818 Vancouver Survivors Lillian Wong 604-873-2385 Vancouver Island Head Injury Society Barbara Erickson 250-598-9339 West Coast Support Network Wanda McAvoy 250-726-7459 West Kootenay Brain Injury Association Jackie Kellock 250-304-1259 West Vancouver Joanie MacDonald 604-926-4825
*Please email name and phone number changes to firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure this list is kept as up-to-date as possible.
BC BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATIONS &
Support Groups*This list updated Summer Issue, 2007.
Government ResourcesRegional Health Authority’s ABI Coordinators: Fraser Health - Aquired Brain injury Program 604-933-2050
Interior Health Authority-250-870-4664 Contact Name: Deborah Preston Northern Health-250-565-2640 Contact Name: Jana Pirsel
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority-604-714-4159 Vancouver Island Health Authority- 250- 370-8699 Contact Name: Judith Armstrong
Enquiry BC-to locate Provincial Government Departments • Lower Mainland 604-660-2421
• Outside Lower Mainland 1-800-663-7867 • Victoria 250-387-6121
Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology: Open Learning Information:
• In and Outside Lower Mainland 1-800-663-1633 Student Loan Information:
• Lower Mainland 604-660-2610
• Outside Lower Mainland 1-800-561-1818- select 1 then 5 Public Guardian & Trustee of British Columbia:
• 700-808 West Hastings St. Vancouver, BC V6B 3L3 Victim’s Info Line:
Adult and Youth Addiction Services: • Lower Mainland 604-660-9382
• Outside Lower Mainland 1-800-663-1441
BC Coalition of People with Disabilities
Advocacy Access Program for assistance with provincial and federal disability benefits
Lower Mainland 604-872-1278
Outside Lower Mainland 1-888-663-1278
Bus Pass for Persons with Disabilities and Seniors Lower Mainland 604-682-0391
Outside Lower Mainland 1-888-661-1566 Cerebral Palsy Association of BC
Lower Mainland Voice and TTY 604-515-9455 Outside Lower Mainland 1-800-663-0004
Community Brain Injury Program for Children & Youth in BC Toll Free 1-877-451-5511
www.cbip.bc.ca Epilepsy BC
Lower Mainland 604-875 6704
Outside Lower Mainland 1-866-374-5377 Victoria 250-475-6677
Information Services Vancouver 604-875-6381
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