When some people experience traumatic events, they internalize them. Some people seek therapy, and some people drown them out with unhealthy coping mechanisms. For Jasmine Orona-Hardee, she used it as a reason to help others.
In 2015 the PV woman was T-boned at an intersection in Phoenix, causing massive internal injuries and a Traumatic Brain Injury, both of which put her in critical condition. As a result, she was in the hospital or in in-patient rehabilitation services for four months of recovery, followed by a year and a half of out-patient therapy. Such a horrific event could have easily sent her spiraling downwards, but she decided to use it as a catalyst to help improve the lives of others who had suffered from similar incidents.
Orona-Hardee partnered with the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona to provide free kits for people who have endured Traumatic Brain Injuries. Since the effects of TBIs can vary widely and can lead to confusion, sensitivity to stimuli, and depression, the items in the kits vary similarly. They include information about TBIs, ear plugs and a sleep mask, a gun lock to lessen easy access to guns, and even Naloxone (an opioid-blocker used for counter overdoses) in case their TBI manifests itself into addiction.
It is estimated that 1.5 million Americans suffer a TBI every year. Car accidents are the leading cause of TBIs in the United States, with falls and violence also being major causes. Around 50,000 Americans die each year from these injuries, with the financial impact estimated at nearly $38 billion annually. But outside of mortal injuries and hospital stays, there are incalculable lifelong impacts to those with TBIs, with memory, cognition issues, and depression often being lifelong effects that aren’t easily measured in dollars and cents.
If you would like to volunteer and get involved with the Arizona Brain Injury Alliance, you can do so here.