For people who have suffered a brain injury, the East Kootenay Brain Injury Association (EKBIA) is there to help in many different ways.
The mission of the EKBIA is to support and empower individuals with brain injury and their families to achieve an improved quality of life in their own community.
Annette Edwards is one local resident who has been greatly helped by the EKBIA.
In 1999 Edwards suffered multiple strokes while working in Northern B.C. After having the stokes she ended up in Edmonton where she started a new part of her recovery.
After the stroke Edwards could drive a vehicle but could not remember her name or even how to walk.
After time she regained her speech and ability to move around. “I just do not like people looking after me. In order to not have people looking after me I have to be able to function on my own. So that is what I did,” Edwards said.
As for the EKBIA, Edwards expressed her gratitude for what they do.
“I was told to go to human resources and someone told me to see Debbie Gudjonson (Outreach Worker for EKIBA)…She helps me think and makes me do things on my own. She helps me when I am really stuck but helps me do things at the time.”
Edwards credited the group with bringing people together who can support each other in both group and individual sessions.
Edwards also hopes that going forward people will learn more about what it is like having this type of injury.
“I am highly functional. If you saw me walking down the street could you tell I have had a brain injury? Just because people do not see it does not mean we have not had it,” she said.
The EKBIA has been helping people in the area since its inception in October 2001.
It is a non-profit organization consisting of survivors of brain injury, family members, and professionals who provide a safe and supportive environment to assist survivors, their families and communities. The group is committed to enhancing the quality of life for persons living with the effects of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI).
EKBIA provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals with brain injury to meet, share and help one another. Individual and group appointments are available by calling the office at 250-417-6220.