Masks reveal hope and determination

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The final group activity for participants of VR’s four-week brain injury comprehensive evaluation is an art project. Each individual in the most recent class created a mask that reveals something about their life with a brain injury and what they have learned while at VR. For many, the mask is also a way to express they are leaving behind negativity they have experienced relating to their brain injury and how they will focus on what they can accomplish.

The individuals in this class have brain injuries that resulted from many different situations: a vehicle accident, stroke, coma, brain abscess, or meningitis. At the Evaluation Center, they met and interacted with others who have similar challenges. They support and learn from each while receiving one-on-one guidance from staff who are certified brain injury specialists. One of the most important things they learn is why they may feel and behave differently than before their injury. Many have been told over and over what they can’t do. Here, they learn what they can do.

View the masks created by the brain injury group and read their comments about them:

A brain injury may cause temporary or permanent impairment of cognitive, emotional, metabolic, motor, and/or sensory functions. VR serves individuals with an acquired brain injury (ABI) or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). An ABI is an injury that occurs after birth, but is not due to congenital or degenerative issues. Causes of ABI include hypoxia, illness, infection, stroke, trauma and tumor. TBI occurs when an external force injures the brain, such as from a fall or a concussion. A TBI is also an acquired brain injury.

VR’s four-week brain injury comprehensive evaluation was developed in cooperation with the Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Division of the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital in Greenville and the Brain Injury Association of South Carolina, which continue to contribute to the program.