SILVER SPRING, Md., March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A Department of Defense traumatic brain injury (TBI) initiative, A Head for the Future, released a video today featuring the personal story of Eve Baker, a Marine reservist who made a full recovery from a debilitating brain injury. Her story — along with more videos of service members and veterans who sought help for TBI — can be found at dvbic.dcoe.mil/aheadforthefuture and on the YouTube channel of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. The release of the video kicks off a variety of activities sponsored by A Head for the Future to recognize Brain Injury Awareness Month in March and to raise awareness about preventing, recognizing and recovering from TBI.
"We want our military community to know that the first step in recovery from TBI is getting checked out," said Kathy Helmick, deputy director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). "Eve's story shows that through treatment and working closely with your doctor, you can get your life back on track."
In 2005, Baker was riding her bicycle in Honolulu when a car struck her. She hit the windshield at almost 40 miles an hour. "If I hadn't been wearing a helmet," she said, "I wouldn't be here today."
Baker was diagnosed with a severe TBI. When she woke up in intensive care, she had retrograde amnesia; she couldn't remember anything that occurred two weeks before the accident. She started on her path to recovery, relying on her fiance to help with daily tasks. By following the doctor's orders to rest, avoid exercise and stay home from work for nearly two months, Baker made a full recovery. Today, Baker lives in Quantico, Virginia, with her husband and their two young children.
"You definitely can recover from brain injury. I'm living proof," she said. "You can go on and have a full life, a normal life, and not let it hold you back."
According to data from the Defense Department, more than 330,000 service members have been diagnosed with TBI since 2000. Surprisingly, most of these injuries were diagnosed in noncombat settings; motor vehicle collisions are a common cause.
A Head for the Future is a multiyear DVBIC initiative to promote TBI awareness, prevention and recovery care and encourage help-seeking in response to TBI. It offers educational resources, such as fact sheets with tips about avoiding brain injury in day-to-day activities. Its video series highlights a variety of personal experiences with TBI, including stories of service members and veterans who overlooked their symptoms for years and experiences of those who sustained more severe injuries and were treated immediately.
Throughout March, A Head for the Future will employ a #ThinkAhead hashtag card campaign that features photographs submitted by TBI survivors and their supporters on its Facebook and Twitter pages as well as on the DVBIC Facebook page. Anyone can download the #ThinkAhead hashtag card and use it to share a personal message about an experience with TBI or in support of Brain Injury Awareness Month. Those taking a photo with the card can either submit the picture to A Head for the Future for posting or share the photo with their own social media networks.
"The ThinkAhead hashtag campaign will unify the military TBI community through images — of a service member or veteran with a TBI, a military spouse or child, a TBI advocate or even a service dog — and through messages of support," said Dr. Scott Livingston, DVBIC's director of education. "We encourage everyone to take part and raise awareness about preventing, recognizing and getting help for TBI."
Download the #ThinkAhead hashtag card and access more TBI resources through the DVBIC Brain Injury Awareness Month Web page at dvbic.dcoe.mil/BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth2016.
Congress established the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) in 1992 after the first Gulf War in response to the need to treat service members with TBI. DVBIC's staff members serve as the Defense Department's primary TBI subject matter experts. DVBIC is part of the U.S. Military Health System and is the TBI operational component of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE). Learn more about DVBIC at dvbic.dcoe.mil.
The mission of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) is to improve the lives of our nation's service members, veterans and their families by advancing excellence in psychological health and traumatic brain injury prevention and care. DCoE's three centers are: the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC), Deployment Health Clinical Center (DHCC) and National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2). Learn more about DCoE at dcoe.mil.
Video - http://youtu.be/RIXn7S43vhM
SOURCE Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center