As a parent to a child with a brain injury, most of us have thought that we were “in the clear” when our child survived the brain injury. It’s unimaginable to think that they could survive only to later gain their angel wings. Since February my support group has had that happen 8 times. That is 8 children gone too soon; 10 children in all. 10 sets of parents left devastated and our community heartbroken at the loss of yet another child. With each loss we are reminded that it could be any of our children at any time. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us.
According to the CDC, 138 people die every day from brain injuries. That is 138 people taken too soon. That is 138 people who leave behind devastated family and friends. Brain injuries are a global epidemic. Here are 4 things that you can do to help raise awareness:
- Educate others by sharing your story. No one thinks a brain injury can happen to them (or their family) until it does. Your story may help someone else from having to deal with this life altering injury.
- Contact your local Brain Injury Association to find out how you can help locally. If everyone got involved imagine the impact that we could have.
- Take precautions: wear a helmet when riding a bike, motorcycle, skateboard, rollerblades or scooter. Wear a seatbelt when in a car. Don’t drive while under the influence. Limit distractions when in the car. Not all brain injuries can be prevented but eliminating the things that put you at risk will help.
- If something doesn’t seem right with your survivor seek medical help immediately. You know them better than anyone. If your gut instinct says something is wrong there probably is.
As a parent to a child with a brain injury, the thought is always in the back of my head that something could happen to my child. Knowing how fragile life is both a blessing and a curse. I chose to enjoy each and every day to the best of my ability. I look for the positives and I celebrate the small joys in life. Every night before I go to bed, I tuck Isabella in and kiss her once more. Then I thank God for the blessing of another day and I pray that tomorrow I will be given another one.
Guest Blogger, Kristin Olliney-Apruzzese, is the mother of 8-year-old Isabella, who suffered sudden acute encephalitis when she was just 4. Kristin’s bi-monthly blog, Mommy of a Miracle, talks about the trials and joys of raising a brain injury survivor.
Legal Statement: The information contained in this blog does not reflect the specific views of BIA-MA. This blog is published for informational purposes only. BIA-MA is not providing medical, legal or other professional advice with its publication