The Brain Injury Center (BIC) of Ventura County is pleased to recommend these inspirational brain injury survivors as speakers for educational programs, service clubs and other community groups. A BIC representative will join the survivor to make introductions and provide information on the organization’s programs and services.
Jenna Prewitt, Survivor
Jenna Prewitt obtained a traumatic brain injury in a near-fatal car accident in 2002. She was 16 years old and spent three months in a coma, nearly two months in the intensive care unit at Los Robles Hospital and another three months learning how to swallow, move and speak again. After rehabilitation, she finally went home nine months after her accident.
“Brain injury doesn’t go away, but I have come a long way,” said Prewitt. “It took six years, but I graduated from Ventura College and will soon earn my Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Channel Islands. With support from friends, family and the community, I believe it’s possible for me and others with brain injuries to make a positive difference in the world.”
Tyler Sutton, Survivor
Just when Tyler Sutton thought life couldn’t get better, it changed forever. A tragic motorcycle accident at 22 left him with a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for six weeks, followed by intense rehabilitation. Although it has been over 20 years, Sutton says it’s been a long struggle back to a meaningful life.
“I found the Brain Injury Center and became a real survivor. I learned coping skills for my new life. I found friends that are a positive influence and understand brain injury. I learned that I have a voice and can help others who may not understand the journey they are on.” said Sutton, who now lives independently and is employed at Steve Thomas BMW.
Linda Wells, a 23-year traumatic brain injury survivor of Camarillo, is one of BIC’s founding members. She was in a serious accident in 1992 on Catalina Island and was airlifted to Long Beach Memorial Hospital with a severe brain injury. After they saved her life, she was transferred to St. John’s Hospital for rehabilitation, and her long journey as a brain injury survivor began. Although Wells has challenges, she tries to remain positive and says “I live with a smile on my face most of the time,” she said.
Today Wells is a professional artist with a passion for watercolor painting. She uses her talent to express herself and raise funds for BIC. She wants to share her personal story with others to help spread awareness of brain injury.
Lee Staniland, Survivor
The goal of BIC’s Speaker’s Bureau is to raise awareness of acquired brain injury (ABI) in Ventura County by introducing our community to inspirational brain injury survivors who want to share their personal experience to help others. The presentations will average about 30 minutes and are offered free of charge. To schedule a speaker, please send an email to info@BrainInjuryCenter.org.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America there are 5.3 million Americans living with long-term disability as a result of a traumatic brain injury and 1.3 million due to stroke. Locally, there are an estimated 16,000 people living with acquired brain injury (ABI).