It was a December that Changed My Life Forever…

The last thing I remember about that day, just before Christmas, is that I was standing outside my local hockey arena and that I felt a “chill” that something bad was about to happen. From what I’ve been told, as I was getting into my car, another vehicle drove up from behind and hit my car, spun uncontrollably, and then struck me. I was thrown about 10 meters into a nearby building. I was flown to Edmonton, where I received lengthy surgeries, and then spent one month in intensive rehabilitation where I re-learned how to eat, walk, and talk.

In the years after leaving the hospital, I lost a lot of friends, as I was often in medical or legal appointments or they didn’t understand why it was difficult for me to leave my home.  The people in my life didn’t understand why I was so different.  As a result of my traumatic brain injury and the social isolation, I developed low self-esteem and anxiety, struggled with seizures, and had difficulty managing my behaviors at times.

Brain Care Centre has shown me there is a place I can go where people understand me, do not judge me, and accept me for who I am. I have learned about where my strengths are and I am grateful that I am doing as well as I am, given what I have been through.  This is an invisible injury and I am learning about what that means for my life.

Today, I am proud to say that I am married and have a daughter, after I was told I would never be able to have a child, and certainly never be able to raise one. 

I’ve saved money from my settlement so I would have it for the future, and I am financially responsible. I was finally able to obtain my driver’s license after many medical assessments. 

I am starting to feel content in my life.

Since accessing services at Brain Care Centre, I have learned more about how my brain has been affected by the injury and my work in the counselling program has increased my confidence as a spouse and parent, which is the most incredible gift to receive.

Every day, your support makes many of the challenges one faces after a stroke, head trauma, or other type of acquired brain injury possible to overcome, just as it has for Jessica.  Thanks to you, over 450 community members living with an acquired brain injury are able to access rehabilitation and support programs each year, long after they leave the hospital.

Please make a special year-end donation of $50, $100, or the amount you can afford, to help us meet our goal of raising $10,000.

Your donation allows us to provide essential services, such as occupational therapy, counselling, education, volunteer programming, and personalized device training, which assists our clients to live as independently as possible. This extremely important work cannot be done without you. Your support is a lasting gift that you can give this holiday season.

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By Brain Care Centre client, Jessica Arcand, who is pictured here with her daughter. Jessica is currently accessing service coordination, occupational therapy, and counselling at Brain Care Centre.

Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your story.