For 16 years I've relied on the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County. This organization has provided encouragement, support groups, and now is operating the Adult Residential Facility (ARF)for adults in Ventura. The journey I have traveled with my oldest daughter has taken me down many pathways in order to find the right living situation for her.
My handicapped daughter resides at the ARF and is mostly content there. She is completely conserved (person and estate.) Her medical needs are attended to, her personal happiness is enhanced by having a dog and a boyfriend. The BICVC started operating the ARF two years ago after I ran it for 9 years with lots of help from staff and BICVC. More of this type of compassionate housing is needed.
The BICVC remains a place to call for help for anyone in this large county needing services related to acquired brain injuries, including strokes, sports concussions and brains damaged by drug abuse. I plan to continue supporting this nonprofit with an annual pledge.
I can't say enough about the wonderful work the Brain Injury Center does. It is so needed within our community. The caring philosophy to direct services the BIC provides is literally priceless.
I have had the honor of attending fundraisers and being a volunteer for the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County for the past several years. The administration and staff are welcoming, kind, and helpful. Their knowledge, expertise, and resources are invaluable. It is quite evident that they approach their work leading with their hearts by how they and their clients interact with each other.
Seven years ago I was in a terrible car accident due to a drunk driver who left the scene of the accident, and left me on the side of the road bleeding and unconscious, as the driver of the other car walked away without a scratch on him. When police arrived because someone that God sent reported the accident and they found him a few blocks away buying more beer.
I was rushed to VCMC but due to the time of the accident I had to be rushed to USC hospital in LA while no one in my family knew what had happened to me, because I was listed as Jane Doe so the next morning when it was time for school when my daughter woke and found that I was not in the house she was the on who sounded the alarm for the family to look for me because I was not the type of single mother of three who would sleep out and not come home to her children.
I was in a coma for five months from January 2013 to May 2013 waking up four days before my birthday. Once I woke up I was forced to relearn things that were thought to me when I was a toddler for example eating without choking, talking, one of the most important thing to know when you talk you must take a breath between each word so that you don't pass out from lack of oxygen. How to walk by putting one foot in front of the other while repeating these words over and over again out loud so you can hear yourself talk. I learned repetition was the key to survival in this new world that I was going to be living in. I had to depend on others who at one time depended on me to feed me and help me to the bathroom, even to shower and I had to let my family tell me that there is nothing wrong crying until it became too much for them to bear.
My oldest sister was the one who was introduced to the Brain Injury Center of Ventura after meeting Dr. Hayden who worked with the Brain Injury Center helping family members cope with the new norm of brain injury family members. For me the Brain Injury Center has been very helpful to me and my family in the early days but once I got better and was able to go every other week I asked the group of supporters that were like me in one way "Brain Injured" I asked how long will this brain injury last? I was thinking for an answer of maybe maybe 2-3 years but to my surprise they said it would last me for the rest of my life that caused me to go home and cry for a couple of days.
But when I went back to our meeting everyone who had become my friends were all there to welcome me back to group now they are like an extended family who I can talk to and understand the things I was going through and experiencing something that another person who never experienced before could know what it feels like to go through. The ability to have somewhere to go to and feel welcomed and loved and never alone if this place wasn't there for me I don't know where would I be today because the feelings that you go through can be very complicated and hurtful it is so good to have somewhere you can come together for free to talk about your problems that on our own may cause some people to take their own lives when it comes too much and too unclear.
I would like to honor this establishment for all the good work that they do all the lives that they help from the beginning without their help and willingness to go above and beyond the call of their duties as nonprofit workers who care for everyone who comes through the door.
So happy to be a part of this wonderful organization!