8 minutes | Jan 30th 2020

Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers Featured on Daytime Toronto

In today's episode of Neinstein Personal Injury Lawyers we are Featured on Daytime Toronto. Listen to the podcast or watch the video podcast on Vimeo.

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One of the stats I mentioned earlier in the show was that a traumatic brain injury is the leading killer and disabler of Canadians under the age of 40. And the statistics go on and on about a brain injury. And how it affects the lives of Canadians and Torontonians, of course.

So we've got a great event coming up. We're going to tell you about how these support people with brain injuries of the committee member from BIST/OBIA Mix & Mingle - Ruth Fernandez and the chair of the BIST/OBIA charity event, Greg Neinstein. Good to have you both here.

Thanks for having us here this morning.

Thanks for having us

This is the Brain Injury Society of Toronto. Is that right? And the other one is the Ontario Brain Injury Association.

What is the best?

Well, this is the local chapter of the Ontario Brain Injury Association. So, there were several chapters, 26 chapters all across Ontario, and the Toronto chapter. And these chapters are aimed at helping survivors of brain injuries. Find peer support groups, resources, and help them get integrated back into the community after they've received a head injury.

And we are, that was just one statistic I gave. The numbers on brain injuries are shocking, right?

18,000 Ontarians will suffer a brain injury.

And that means, you know, in one year, every hour six Canadians are afflicted with a brain injury. And those stats are quite high when you consider all diseases in all sorts of fields. It happens to, you know, people that we know. One in 10 people that you know will suffer a brain injury this year. So it's quiet, it's a big, huge problem in our society.

And for kids, especially. Right?

It's so important that they wear a helmet when they're practicing sports and that they're taking all precautions to be safe.

So one of the things that this OBIA does is help with awareness because there is not enough awareness. And unfortunately, this is, in OBIA, they'd just been started in the last 10-15 years. And it's probably shocked when you hear the numbers in the lack of information people have about head injuries considering all the other amazing fundraisers that we see across Ontario. And when you see the numbers of head injuries, it's shocking that there is not much awareness about this disease.

A head injury can be so debilitating, and it could affect you for the rest of your life.

And it often does. It often does. You know, usually, patients will present with communication disabilities. And you know, it's always, it's not always very clear if you have a brain injury, so.

Right. You break an arm, it's clear. It's easy to see.

Exactly.

But some might be stumbling with their words. You might, and you don't do it together.

Yeah, you don't often pick up on that unless you know the person for a long time. And you sort of should watch out for mood swings, and you know, maybe they're not communicating properly. And things that you didn't bother them before, sort of irritating to them now. So those are all sorts of things that you know, people might look out for.

And what about children? If your child falls off the bike, they brush themselves off, the crying stops. You think everything's fine, what should we be looking out for?

It's so difficult to identify brain injuries, especially in children, because they're not able to articulate what they're feeling. So would finding problems with sleeping, problems with, being able to eat, an appetite. It's so difficult -- that I don't think there's any harm in finding early on in seeking medical attention regarding it, just in case. Just, in case.

Cause the downside is huge and people with brain injuries, it usually takes a, within the first year is the most productive in getting rehabilitation. So if you don't identify this within the first year, you're losing out an ability for your brain, which is a muscle to start rehabilitating itself.

Right.

Really. So the brain is capable of regenerating some of those injured areas.

Absolutely.

Absolutely. You know, I was just at a talk with Dr. Tatter. And he says automatically if you know your child has had a concussion or he's hit his head, we absolutely know for sure, as the fact that it is a brain injury. So, you know, if you knock your head, you know, don't just disregard it. You know, look into it a little bit more further and see if there's a way to start rehabilitating.

Are we will set up here in Toronto for rehabilitation services?

There's a lot of resources, but there's a lot of people liking identified, and even the resources we do have are also limited. So the biggest thing about OBIA/BIST is the fact that our OHIP system is great. People do have access to get assistance. The problem is, once you finish that maximum medical recovery, and you're done with your OT, your occupational therapists, or physiotherapists, or your speech therapist, you go back into the community. And now, how'd you get integrated? How do people identify you with a brain injury? Because it's really the hidden disease. Because you can walk into a room, and no one sees that you have an injury. You could see someone that has paraplegia, you could see an amputee, but it's very difficult for people to relate and understand how to respond to someone with a head injury.

Getting back into work, all of those challenges. So we've got this terrific event. Actually, the whole month of June has been set aside as brain injury awareness, which is great. So what are some of the things coming up?

Yeah, so we've been working on the Mix and Mingle, which is an event that OBIA/BIST has co-produced in the last seven years. Greg Neinstein has been the chair of the event for the last three years. And you know, we bring out people from the health care industry and care service providers that, they're there to mingle and exchange ideas and find ways to collaborate and create awareness about this really important issue.

Right. So one of them, of course, is June 14.

So we have a great event, June 14th. It's at a steam whistle brewery, which is a fantastic venue. And we have some great live music. A Soul Stew which is a long time Toronto jazz band, can be playing. We've already raised before the event, $100,000, which is fantastic.

That's simply from ticket sales and sponsorships. And we hope to continue to increase awareness and provide assistance to survivors of brain injuries.

So we can get tickets for that online, right at your website.

Yeah. You definitely visit our website. The event is over 90% sold, but there are still some tickets available. So we encourage the viewers to join us that evening, and there's going to be great food. We also have amazing oysters, which is sort of a symbol for the brain. And you know, it's a topic that we're sort of talking about and great food, great music.

It's a great term. Our goal is just to thank everyone who's involved in the community, survivors, people that work in the community. And just have a great opportunity to network and have a fantastic event.

After that on June 20th, big event at Nathan Phillips Square, right?

Right. Every year, there is an event — Nathan Phillips Square during the day for Brain Injury Awareness Week. There'll be speakers there. I think Ben Mulroney will be speaking this year and talking about Brain Injury Awareness. And that's the biggest thing that we are really striving to achieve is to help people understand how prominent this problem is in our society.

Not genetically related, you know, this just happens to, right.

It can happen to anyone, at any one given moment. You know.

One in 26 Canadians suffers some type of brain injury. And I don't think anyone appreciates the volume of that.

Does either of you have a personal connection to someone with brain injury?

Well, I assist people with brain injuries all the time. So, I'm a Personal Injury Lawyer, and what I really do is I'm a Crisis Manager. And I helping manage people once they do have an injury, where's the guidebook and what to do. So I assist people in finding rehabilitation options, vocational options, all types of support in order to get back into some sort of meaningful day event.

One of the things that, you know, the event will fund after it's over is a guidebook business. You know, producing a guidebook for people with brain injuries, and to help them navigate the world's post, you know, a head injury because it's a whole different world.

Your website is fantastic. So go to the website and get lots of information there. Plus, your tickets to the Mix and Mingle, bist.ca. And now here's Maya with your community events. Great information. Thank you.

 

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