We empower people affected by brain injury through the provision of information, education and advocacy support and raising awareness and prevention of brain injury in the community.
The Silent Epidemic
A new brain injury occurs every 15 minutes in New Zealand.
The estimated cost on the health system is $100 million a year, but it is expected that this figure will rise significantly. Brain injuries, including stroke and traumatic brain injury, is the leading cause of disability and death in New Zealand.
However, the real cost in terms of rehabilitation, family impact and far reaching social implications for people whose head injury lasts a lifetime, is incalculable.
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What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by impact to the head which in turn causes damage to the brain. TBI can happen at the time of impact or later on. The injury may be confined to one area of the brain or it can involve several areas of the brain.There are three ways the brain is injured:
- Bruising and bleeding – the brain is thrown against the front and back of the skull which causes bruising and/or bleeding.
- Swelling – if there is swelling in the brain pressure begins to build up and damages structures in the brain
- Tearing, shearing and twisting - when tearing occurs the connections between various parts can be sheared and twisted.
I remember the date so well, 8th June 2008. It is the date that for some reason my life was about to take a different journey, from an incident that was over just by the click of the fingers. The actual event itself I still to this day don’t know exactly what happened and why I didn’t respond or feel the knock.
It was a Sunday, and through my work with Basketball New Zealand, I had clustered a small group of Association in the Waikato together to develop players, referees and coaches. This was their first tournament and I felt compelled to go and support them.
I arrived in Te Awamutu to find that the tournament had started, but only one court was playing. Between myself and the secretary – Sharyn Tissingh we got the other court up and going by refereeing the first game then doing score bench for the second...
To read the full story, and others click here.