CROWN POINT - Gerard Thacher of Crown Point has started a support group for survivors of traumatic brain injury.
The group will meet July 9 and 23 and Aug. 6 and 20 at 6:30 p.m. at 1869 Creek Road, Crown Point. For more information call 597-3104
Thacher is not affiliated with any agency or service provider. His service is free. He is a survivor of three accidents resulting in traumatic brain injury.
Thacher said, "This is a labor of necessity and of love."
As complex as the brain is, each brain injury is as different than another brain injury. This is not only challenging for the survivor, but also for their families and friends, Thacher said.
Norma Tabash is a relative of a TBI survivor.
"I don't have a brain injury, but I do have a beautiful little sister, Maria, who was in a bad car accident and sustained a bad head injury 28 years ago," she said. "There were three little girls in the car who were with my sister. Two of them were very lucky, but our niece at the the age of 13 years old was not so lucky. She died at the scene of the accident.
"It was hard for my sister when she found out. Maria was in a coma and was not the same after she same out of it. Maria's whole world had changed. Despite the confusion I saw in her mind and the obvious turmoil she was going through, I still saw her as a sweetheart. Our mother and the rest of the family had no clue as to what she was going through. We basically sat and watched Maria go through this storm. I know Maria to be a fighter. She loves God deeply and was a God loving person then and still is today. I believe that's why she survived that terrible car accident; and thanks to God she is still with us.
"I also have a godson who went through a similar car accident at the age of 18. He was a passenger who was thrown out of the vehicle and sustained a head injury. It changed his whole life and his family too. They thank God every day for not taking him from them. He is doing fine, but like my sister Maria, he will never be the same."
Each year an estimated 1.4 people in the United States sustain traumatic brain injury. Of those injuries, 50,000 die and 235,000 are hospitalized and 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department.
Among children age 14 and younger, TBI.results in an estimated 2,685 deaths, 37,000 hospitalizations and 435,000 emergency department visits annually.