In recognition of the devastation that an acquired brain injury can cause, and in support of the work of a brain injury rehabilitation provider with an Anna location, Mayor Nate Pike recently issued a proclamation declaring May 2019 as Brain Injury Awareness Month in the city.

Accepting the proclamation at the recent City Council meeting was Lindsey McGregor of Pate Rehabilitation, an acquired brain injury health care provider with a treatment facility in east Anna.

Brain injuries are not confined to any age group, socio-economic status, or even health condition, affecting people who sustain something as simple as a bump, blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. In fact, roughly 500,000 Texans are currently living with a disability from a traumatic brain injury. Among those treated at the Anna facility are victims of stroke, among the most common acquired brain injuries, which affects almost 800,000 Americans annually. Stroke is the third leading cause of death for Texans and is often preventable.

Significantly, these types of brain injuries can also be the result of motor vehicle crashes, assaults, occupational-related injuries or opioid overdoses. Sports-related injuries also make up a large share of these injuries, with 30 percent of these affecting youth between 5 and 19 years of age. Unfortunately, brain injuries are not always well recognized, often putting affected youngsters at risk for another injury and potentially fatal second-impact syndrome.

However, early and adequate intervention, especially cognitive rehabilitation, can greatly increase the quality of life and enable individuals with brain injury to return home, continue their schoolwork, or resume work, allowing them to continue contributing to their communities and living a fulfilled and empowered life.

In Anna, Pate Rehabilitation operates Brinlee Creek Ranch, a location on the eastern edge of the city, designed specifically to treat and assist individuals who have suffered an acquired brain injury. Brinlee Creek Ranch has multiple treatment and therapy buildings, patient residential homes, and a long-term supported living center. In addition, the 96-acre ranch is a certified wildlife habitat, offering patients and clients a close connection with nature.

Among the services offered at the unique facility are physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapy, as well as vocational therapy, and counseling. The one-of-a-kind treatment model is built to prepare people with brain injuries to return to their real-world environments.

The nature-based setting allows for non-traditional therapies that involve pets, horses, and other animal therapies. Biofeedback, aquatic therapy, driver rehabilitation, and support groups are also offered at Brinlee Creek ranch.

While brain injury awareness month is celebrated nationally during March, Anna selected May in order to emphasize the importance of recognizing the dangers of the condition as the summer recess from school approached, when youngsters may be more apt to sustain such injuries.