Help­ing youth to avoid brain in­jury

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health -

NORTH Fre­man­tle res­i­dent Nick Lonie knows first­hand what it’s like to live with a brain in­jury.

Mr Lonie was thrown from the back of a ute be­ing driven by a per­son un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol.

He was in a coma for two weeks and un­der­went oper­a­tions to re­move parts of his skull to re­lieve the pres­sure on his brain.

Af­ter months of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, Mr Lonie is re­cov­er­ing but still lives with his ac­quired brain in­jury, which is one of the most com­mon causes of dis­abil­ity in Aus­tralia.

“There are last­ing ef­fects – I have no sense of smell, I’m not as re­laxed as I used to be and I am more short-tem­pered, but com­pared with my fam­ily I’ve had the eas­ier ride,” he said.

Mr Lonie is the am­bas­sador for the Brain In­jury As­so­ci­a­tion of WA’s Bang on a Beanie ini­tia­tive, which asks peo­ple to buy a bright blue beanie as part of Brain In­jury Aware­ness Week.

Last month, Mr Lonie shared his story with a group of 14-to-18-year-olds vis­it­ing Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal as part of the Pre­vent Al­co­hol and Riskre­lated Trauma in Youth pro­gram, which aims to help youth to recog­nise po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions and min­imise the risk of trauma.

Nick Lonie.

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