AUGUSTA Ga - Every year over 42,000 Georgians suffer from brain injuries. It's a disability that could control the rest of your life. But NBC Augusta found one man who says he wasn't going to let this injury defeat him.
Les Paul Morgan leads a normal life and you'd never tell by looking at him that he suffers from a traumatic brain injury.
“Went in started running the machine, I was a senior operator in a factory. And a massive explosive is what it felt like. Just hit me with no warning. I fell to the floor had a brain aneurysm then and a brain injury later,” said Morgan.
According to the Brain Injury Association of Georgia, six times more people experience traumatic brain injury than multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, HIV/AIDS and breast cancer combined.
“Brain Injury can happen at all ages. It can happen to a senior citizen who fell, it could happen to a baby who hit his head while playing, on a motorcycle who wasn't wearing a helmet,” said Morgan.
After having seven surgeries-- Les has short-term memory loss and can only see out of one of his eyes. A lot of times, people who suffer from brain injuries keep themselves isolated. But workers with Walton Rehabilitation say once they understand that their life can continue, they begin to change the way they think.
“It's very rewarding to see people get back to what they were doing before, and to see them get to do the activities that we take for granted everyday,” said Patty Goolsby, Coordinator for Brain Injury Support Group.
It's a disorder that many call hidden. You could be walking next to someone that suffers from a brain injury and not even know it.
Walton Rehab helps patients relearn how to live their lives...helping them to stand on their own two feet.
“Working with the Walton Options, I have learned to be independent,” said Morgan.
Independence others like Les can have if they take it one step at a time.
Life with Brain Injury is very difficult. Their are so many different levels, types, and varitions in brain injuy that no 2 people have the exact same symptoms or levels of injury. I highly recomend that everyone who has a brain injury go to your nearest Independent Living center because you will meet other people who are working to fight the stigma of brain injury and all types of disabilities. That is what put me back on the road to recovery and Independencs!
Absence (Petit Mal)
A blank stare, beginning and ending abruptly, usually lasting a few seconds. Person is unaware. May be accompanied by rapid blinking or chewing movement.
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