By Wendy Elliott
Brian Taylor is determined the brain injury support group in the Valley should be revived.
“We’re starting over,” he said.
The Valley Chapter of the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia (BIANS) ran out of steam roughly two years ago, but Taylor says there is a drive currently to launch a resource group.
“It’s not a chapter,” the Bridgetown resident said. “We’re starting with a six-member board as a support group. It takes 10 to 12 for a chapter.”
Taylor says this group is being fostered by the provincial organization.
“In essence, we want to have as many resources as possible for information and promotion,” he said.
Meetings are going to be scheduled at the West Kings Community Health Centre in Berwick.
“It’s going to take some time. The province has emphasized do it right, not fast.”
He hopes that a Western Valley support group can be restarted as well. One used to operate in Middleton.
“We’ll welcome anyone with concerns, previous members, brain injury survivors, family members or professionals.”
He is even hopeful that the popular Inroads program that operated in Kentville for a number of years can be revived as well. The educational program was an important part of a lifelong journey for brain injury survivors and their families. Taylor’s son attended it and is now working at an organic farm.
The Taylor family knows how abruptly circumstances can be altered. Robbie Taylor was injured in a car accident in 2007. While on vacation in New Hampshire at the time, Taylor and his wife Sheila learned that their son was in a coma, but in stable condition, in the ICU of University Hospital in Calgary.
"We knew he had a long way to go, but we decided we'd do it together as a family," he said.
As a result, the retired civil servant said, "we are much closer. We appreciate extended family, friends, faith and the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia."
Taylor said he has learned that "a family can survive through community. Without community we don't survive.”
So he wants the wider community to know that the brain injury support group is alive and breathing again. Anyone who has questions can contact Taylor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know?
There are between 2,200 and 3,500 new brain injuries each year in Nova Scotia. That figure means there are between six and 10 cases occurring each day.
The skull is as thin as two pennies and the brain is as soft as Jello. Damage to the brain could be traumatic, like a sports injury, but it could also be the result of a stroke or aneurysm.
Brain injuries are the number one killer and disabler of people under 44. Two-thirds of survivors are male. One-third of youth will have a concussion before they finish high school.
The mission of BIANS is to enhance the quality of life for survivors and their family. Volunteers across Nova Scotia are involved in advocacy, education, support and prevention. The group formed provincially in 1988.