Brain-injury recovery at a crossroads

Story by Chris Graham
freepress2@ntelos.net

Fifty-four hundred people. In five counties.
That’s a lot of people recovering from brain injuries in the Central Shenandoah Valley.
“Our primary purpose is to help survivors of brain injury get back to their lives before they suffered their injury,” said Michelle Witt, the executive director of the Harrisonburg-based Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery, which serves brain-injury victims in an area including Rockingham County, Augusta County, Rockbridge County, Bath County and Highland County.

The goal is easier laid out than it is accomplished.
“We see clients that run the gamut from severe injuries where they may even be wheelchair-bound or have paralysis from their injury to those who may have had what is known as a mild brain injury, where they may look as though nothing is wrong physically, but still be left with some devastating effects of short-term memory loss and difficulty with organization and time management or financial magement – and they just find that when they come home, all the little pieces start to fall apart,” Witt said in an interview with “The Augusta Free Press Show” this week.
“It is a long-term process to develop a system of care for folks – and we know that it’s going to take one piece of the puzzle at a time and putting it in place,” Witt said.
Crossroads got up and running in March as part of an ongoing effort by advocates for those with brain injuries in the Valley to increase the availability of services to the affected populations.
“As a network, we are advocating for services to be expanded into unserved or underserved areas of the state – and we certainly see a very positive response from the state to do that,” Witt said.

Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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