Quantcast

Four Staters with brain injuries turn to each other for support - KOAM TV 7

Four Staters with brain injuries turn to each other for support

Updated:

In recognition of Brain Injury Awareness Month, a Joplin wife and mother who suffered permanent brain injury in a car accident hopes her story reminds people that brain injuries do not discriminate, and to be more patient when stuck behind someone with a brain injury in the future.

According to the Brain Injury Association, 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. each year.  The National Brain Injury Association says about 3 million Americans live with lifelong disabilities as a result of brain injuries.

Joplin resident Katie Thuerauf suffered a permanent brain injury in a 2007 car accident.  She says it hasn't been easy keeping her family together since then.

"I feel like there was a person who was in that accident, who that person died, and I'm a different person now, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get back to being that person," Katie says.

She says a support group at Joplin's Independent Living Center once a month has helped her and others like her cope.

"The friendships, and know that I'm not alone, because a lot of times I feel alone," Katie says.

Justin Messner says Alternative Opportunities in Southwest Missouri helps people like Katie deal with feelings like that.  Among other things, they help more than 100 individuals in Southwest Missouri with brain injuries find employment and gives them rides to places like the YMCA or Joplin mall when they need a little social interaction.

"A comfort socially is critical in development and redevelopment, and being successful in life, so feeling as though you're accepted when you are out in the community, maybe one of the most important aspects of what we do," says Messner.

Now, Katie wants to take that concept a step further.  She wants more options for people like her and is starting a new group of her own to help others with brain injures have more opportunities to interact.

"A social group, just to get together with other people with brain injuries," says Katie.  "Once a week, in a comfortable environment, sit around, and talk and shoot the breeze and play games or whatever."

Katie says her social group will meet at the downtown YMCA in Joplin on Wednesday's from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. starting in April.

For more information on brain injuries visit Brain Injury Association of Missouri and Alternative Opportunities Inc.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Southeast Kansas Roofers react to Kansas Roofing Act

    Southeast Kansas Roofers react to Kansas Roofing Act

    Monday, March 31 2014 3:56 PM EDT2014-03-31 19:56:28 GMT
    An act passed by Kansas leaders was to ensure homeowners in the state would avoid doing business with unethical or "fly-by-night" roofing contractors.More >>
    An act passed by Kansas leaders was to ensure homeowners in the state would avoid doing business with unethical or "fly-by-night" roofing contractors.More >>
  • Carl Junction school district partners with Freeman Health to give students access to medical clinic near school

    Carl Junction school district partners with Freeman Health to give students access to medical clinic near school

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 7:31 PM EDT2014-08-20 23:31:44 GMT
    Carl Junction has partnered with Freeman Health System to create the next best thing to a school-based clinic. Students will get priority access to the Carl Junction Family Medicine Clinic including transportation but all only if parents agree.Nurse Bridget Day at Carl Junction high school has regular visitors taking medications. But some come in needing more health care and now she can send them to the Carl Junction...More >>
    Carl Junction has partnered with Freeman Health System to create the next best thing to a school-based clinic. Students will get priority access to the Carl Junction Family Medicine Clinic including transportation but all only if parents agree.Nurse Bridget Day at Carl Junction high school has regular visitors taking medications. But some come in needing more health care and now she can send them to the Carl Junction...More >>
  • Federal Funds Help Provide Medical Care to Afton, OK Community

    Federal Funds Help Provide Medical Care to Afton, OK Community

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 5:34 PM EDT2014-08-20 21:34:15 GMT
    Thanks to federal grants, a small town community that has been battling poverty conditions is now able to receive affordable medical treatment. And with future plans to expand and provide even more specialized care, the staff at this clinic are ready to serve anyone who walks through the door. More >>
    Thanks to federal grants, a small town community that has been battling poverty conditions is now able to receive affordable medical treatment. And with future plans to expand and provide even more specialized care, the staff at this clinic are ready to serve anyone who walks through the door. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas
Send tips, ideas and press releases to: tips@koamtv.com
Send newsroom questions or comments to: comments@koamtv.com
Phone: (417) 624-0233 or (620) 231-0400
Web comments or questions: webmaster@koamtv.com
Newsroom Fax: (417) 624-3158

Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOAM. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.