It can happen to anyone at anytime. It doesn’t discriminate. Over half a million Australians are living with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). According Brain Injury Australia “three out every four of them are aged under 65. As many as two out of every three of these people acquired their brain injury before they turned 25“.
One of those individuals who acquired their injury before they were 25 was my friend Lisa Cox. Lisa was only 24 years old when she got rare strand of the streptococcus-A virus which caused a brain hemorrhage. This led to a series of complications and Lisa clinically died. Twice. She has undergone more than a dozen operations since, including a heart operation, and has lost a leg, all her toes and nine fingers. It’s a miracle she survived.
So since this all happened seven years ago you would imagine Lisa has had enough on her plate with focusing on her recovery, learning to walk again and getting well. But, apparently not.
In the last few years she has become a highly sought after inspirational speaker at schools and youth groups around the country, written a book and is onto her second, and more recently become national Ambassador for Synapse.
Synapse is a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life of people living with and affected by ABI. As mentioned earlier, it’s very common (affecting an estimated one billion people around the world) and can be caused by an external force to the brain such as a motor vehicle accident, sporting accident, falls, degenerative diseases, brain tumours, as the result of a stroke or alcohol or drug abuse.
This week (August 13-19) is Brain Injury Awareness Week and with that comes Bang on a Beanie.
Bang on a Beanie is a campaign to help raise awareness of ABI. It’s about starting the conversation. It’s about raising money.
Bang on a Beanie is in its second year and encourages people to buy a beanie to show their support for this worthy cause affecting many Australians. It aims to raise money to go toward improving essential services for people living with ABI including providing support during the most crucial time – the post-accident recovery period.
So this Thank You Thursday we’re acknowledging all the team behind Bang on a Beanie for helping shed some light on this otherwise invisible disability faced by many Australians. And of course, a big shout out to Lisa for her inspiration, positivity and dedication to helping others – all with a beautiful smile on her face.
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick.
P.S You can listen to a recent interview Lisa did with ABC radio to promote Synapse and Bang on a Beanie here.