The Struggle of Overcoming a Brain Injury

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

About 4,000 people in our area may be living with a disability because of a brain injury. That's why Valley organizations are reminding neighbors these type of injuries are more common than you think.

In 2009 Chandler Brown lost control of his car and sustained a brain injury.

"The tree fell into my car and my head went against the tree and bingo bango brain injury," said Brown.

Some of the injuries are visible. He said he can't move his left hand like he used to.

“I wish I could write with my left hand. It was my pride and joy. I like to be different," said Brown.

He said he feels the difference, especially in school.

“I'm a little bit slower at thinking. My process is delayed. It takes me a little bit to figure things out," said Brown.

Brown said he hasn't figured out why some of his friends didn't support him through his recovery.

“Everyone who said was my friend abandoned me because they don't look out for people with brain injuries," said Brown.

He said at first, people usually do look out.

“They're so much support. There are Facebook groups. There are worldwide chains. The minute they get out of the hospital and start trying to adapt into real life, they get abandoned and tossed to the side as some sort of disabled fool,” said Brown.

Brown gets help from Crossroads, an organization which helps people recover from brain injuries.

Crossroads Director Michelle Witt said people are not aware that's the second most prevalent disability in the U.S.

"Being aware that when we've had an injury or a loved one has had an injury that it might take a while to get things back the way the want to be, if at all," said Witt.

Brown said he's getting better with the help of Crossroads.

"They make it so it's possible for me to function in society having the injury that I have," said Brown.

Brown said he feels independent. He has a drivers license, goes to school and has a job.

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