Palm Beach County, FL- A traumatic brain injury is one of the deadly and physically devastating injuries a person can suffer from, but a Palm Beach County man is getting a new lease on life thanks to a local organization that advocates for people who have suffered there terrible injuries.
Alex Hankinson fell out of a moving truck on 1-95 before he was struck by two other vehicles. He suffered severe trauma to his brain. He suffered memory loss after his injury and had to undergo extensive rehabilitation to learn how to walk, talk, and use his hands again.
The Brain Injury Association of Florida estimates that 100,000 Floridians suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Wendy Waldman, a resource coordinator with BIAF told local CBS affiliate WPEC-TV 12, “Broward, Palm Beach, & Miami-Dade have the highest incidents of brain injuries.”
Accidents, especially traffic collisions, are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries nationwide. It is such a prevalent problem that has been labeled “a silent epidemic,” and many of the victims suffering from this type of injury advocate for themselves or lack or unaware of the vocational and other rehabilitation services that are available to him.
Hankison told WPEC-TV, “They say oh, you’re lucky to be alive. But it’s a perspective thing. Everybody is different. It’s extremely frustrating for me sitting at home and you can’t afford to buy food. And you can’t afford to be driving anywhere. You don’t have a car to drive anywhere. It’s just, the first step is the hardest one.”
That’s where the BIAF comes in, they steered Hankinson towards a program that gave him job training and helped him find a job so that he could get his life back on track.
Hankinson was fortunate; he experienced a recovery that allowed him to attend vocational rehabilitation so he could begin to lead a somewhat normal life, though he will suffer the effects of his injury for the rest of his life.
Over one month’s time, 140,000 people will suffer trauma to their brain, which equates to 1.7 million people annually. The Centers for Disease Control states that brain injuries are the leading cause of death and permanent disability among young adults aged 15 to 25.
Brain injuries can range from mild to severely debilitating. In the worst case, a brain injury can cause coma or death. Some victims will suffer the effects of this injury for the rest of lives and have to re-learn skills most people take for granted such as the ability to speak or walk. Recovery is an uphill battle for a large majority of brain injury victims.
While there is a lot of discussion about brain injuries among athletes, sports only accounts for a small fraction of total cases. Military personnel are also frequent sufferers, but research shows that car accidents and falls are responsible for half of all traumatic brain injuries in the U.S.
In cases where the brain injury victim has become permanently disabled because of another person’s negligence, the sufferers can turn to a Palm Beach injury attorney to seek compensation that will cover their medical costs and provide them the funds they need to cover their future living expenses.