According to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 1.7 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries each year. Some of these TBI patients experience less severe effects and may even make close to a full recovery in time. Many others, however, are left with permanent disabilities that will prevent them from being able to work ever again.
While the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs are a vital source of financial support for Oregon families that have been affected by this devastating type of physical injury — modest monthly benefit checks alone can do little to ease the frustration brain injury patients and their loved ones deal with on a daily basis or improve the quality of their lives in a meaningful way.
A new website, TryMunity.com, is trying to change that by creating an online support community for those affected by TBI as well as cancer, heart attacks, strokes and other catastrophic events. Its founder is a 28-year-old traumatic brain injury survivor named Michael Black.
Black suffered his injuries in a Texas car accident last year, after which some doctors predicted he would spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state. His loved ones were extremely disheartened by this news of course but were not able to find much of anything in the way of help or hope on the Internet.
Knowing what his loved ones had gone through and having experienced similar feelings of isolation and frustration during his fight to regain consciousness and recover at least some measure of independence, Black recognized that there needed to be a place where survivors and loved ones could talk to one another about shared experiences, emotions, problems, milestones and other issues, including Social Security Disabilty.
Trymunity.com was launched on the one-year anniversary of Mr. Black’s accident.
Source: WFAA-TV, “Accident survivor creates support community for traumatic brain injury,” Janet St. James, May 29, 2012