Most people in Columbus, Ohio, do not know that a traumatic brain injury statistically happens every 16 seconds, especially workers at high-risk occupations. Even workers at low-risk occupations can incur a brain injury if the factors are there. What if you are driving a company car and find yourself caught in an accident, ejected from the vehicle and sustain severe injuries?
Though he was not driving a company car, that is what happened to a 27-year-old man on May 21, 2011. A car accident caused him to be thrown from his vehicle as soon as the impact occurred. He landed on his head and sheared his brain stem. This put the man into a coma for weeks. His time spent at the hospital included a surgery that removed a portion of his brain.
According to the man’s mother, physicians did not believe that he was going to survive. Remarkably, he did and, a year later, is talking on his phone and using a walker to get around. Many people have been in this man’s situation and lost all hope, resigning themselves to die. But his family’s practical use of social media during the 27-year-old’s recovery may be giving others like him hope.
The man’s mother and stepfather struggled to keep in touch with the rest of the family due to the busy schedule and stress-related anxiety that the 27-year-old’s recovery caused. So, instead of calling everyone, they set up a Facebook page that discussed the man’s recovery. Family members began following but so did other people from around the world. According to the mother, the stories and support from these people-victims of TBI and friends and relatives of victims-gave the family hope and motivation to keep working towards recovery.
Now, the parents have started Trymunity, a social network for people with TBI. The network plans to operate as a support group and, with high-profile people such as some former NFL athletes already getting on board, it is likely that the website will be a successful tool for families affected by TBI.
Source: Allen American, “Brain injury survivor uses social media to spread hope,” Jared Watson, Aug. 21, 2012