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Road to recovery; 19-year-old speaks out on importance of wearing a helmet

Posted: 10:44 AM, Mar 16, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-16 10:50:54-04
Brain Injury Association of Michigan

19-year-old Julia had hit the slopes dozens of times, but all it took was one time not wearing her helmet to change everything about her life.

This past winter, Julia went on a snowboarding trip with her family Caberfae Peaks Ski and Golf Resort in Cadillac. She spent the day going up and down the many hills of Caberfae, until she woke up to find herself in a hospital bed.

She had fell and hit her head on the slopes. Fortunately, someone noticed her lying on the ground and notified the ski patrol, who proceeded to bring her to the hospital.

While not remembering the events that led up to her hospital stay, she knew something was wrong with her brain. According to medial professionals, she suffered two brain hemorrhages near the front of her brain, which is bleeding in or around the brain. Injuries to the front of the brain affect memory, cognition, and emotion.

This was a dramatic life change for Julia; she is an active person who loves to do yoga and go for runs.

Despite the traumatic injury, she is recovering more quickly than medical professionals expected.

She still has some work to do in her recovery journey, but says she plans on moving back to California after occupational therapy.

Julia shared her story of injury and recovery because she now knows this injury could have been prevented if she had just wore a helmet.

"Whether you're confident in yourself or now, you never know what could happen," Julia said. "It's just one little thing that can completely change your life."

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan has launched the Think aHead campaign to help spread awareness and the importance of wearing a helmet during recreational activities to prevent injuries like Julia's.

This campaign is a statewide initiative to increase helmet use, save lives, and prevent brain injuries by breaking down the misconception that it’s not cool to wear helmets.

As a part of the initiative, children and teens “caught” wearing helmets during recreational sports will be rewarded with partner coupons, free food and giveaways by participating partners and local police officers, ski patrols, firefighters, along with many others.

To learn more about the Think aHead campaign, visit biami.org.