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Every fifteen seconds someone in the U.S. suffers a brain injury. Every five minutes, one of those people will die.

Each year 52,000 people die of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Among all types of injury, traumatic brain injury is most likely to result in death or permanent disability.

The life of a traumatically-brain-injured-person is a lonely, confusing and terrifying one. Imagine one day waking up and not being able to talk or walk, and perhaps, being blind but no one knows it. You are imprisoned in your body, unable to communicate your thoughts and not remembering why you are here. What if you will never be able to remember what happened to you because the event that caused your injury was not registered in your brain and can never be retrieved? What if your long-term memory is gone forever? What if you suffer from short-term memory loss and cannot remember what day it is or what you had for breakfast? You may be able to understand what is going on around you but unable to communicate due to the brain being unable to function. As a result, some people will mistake your brain injury with mental incapacity. Yet you feel like the same person inside as you were before the injury. But you are not! How long will it take you to become aware of this?

This may be the worst-case scenario for some brain-injury persons but even mild brain injury can change your life forever. Because each person has a unique brain, no two injuries are alike. Further, the effects of brain injury are not always visible or diagnosed at the time of injury. They may range from physical, emotional or social changes to experiencing all three simultaneously. Doctors may speculate about the effects of a severe head injury, based on the extent of trauma to the brain and the location of the damage. But they cannot tell you accurately what your life will be like because this will depend on time and whether you can perform tasks as you did before. This may not be known for weeks or even years.

In a matter of seconds – no matter how safe you think you might be - life, as you know it, can be radically changed forever.

Most people do not want to know the realities of traumatic brain injury or how prevalent it is in the United States alone. Nevertheless, it can dramatically affect your life in a split second if you or someone you love is injured. Whether driving in your car, innocently working out at the gym or just being at home – a careless act or accident can change your life forever – or end the life of someone you love. (see )

If you have not been affected by knowing someone with a brain injury, you probably haven’t become informed about its seriousness. Please read and learn.

The Centers for Disease Control has estimated that each year 260,000 people are hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury. Permanent injury results in 70,000 to 90,000 of these cases. The costs of acute care, rehabilitation, chronic care and indirect injuries impose an annual economic burden of $37 billion in direct and indirect costs.

Each of us thinks, "This will not happen to me." But in the time it takes to read this paragraph, one person will have sustained a traumatic brain injury. The sad fact is that after one TBI, the risk for a second injury is three times greater, and after a second, the risk of a third is eight times greater. It takes just a few seconds to receive an insult to the brain. A child falling off a bike; a parent shaking a crying baby; a diving accident; a car wreck; a motorcycle collision; all these seemingly simple accidents can change your life forever if the resulting injury is to the brain. Everyone, no matter how young or old, should be educated on traumatic brain injury and the ripple effect it has on all those involved, especially the victim’s family.

The world of a traumatically-brain-injured person is a scary one. We want you to remember that no matter how tough it gets, you are never alone. There is a national Brain Injury Association at 105 Alfred Street, Alexandria VA 22314. (Telephone 703-236-6000 or toll free 800-444-6443.) There are Brain Injury Associations in 48 states. There are many support groups operating in towns all across the country. All of this has happened since 1980 and the associations and support groups provide an excellent resource for families to access information about brain injury.

TBI is a long journey – but you don’t have to trudge it alone. There are thousands of people who experience this world daily – a world they were thrust into without their consent. It does not mean that your life is over but it does mean that your life has changed. You will have to learn how to live in this new world and so will your family and friends. There is help. Please read on.

This Page is courtesy Traumatic Brain Injury