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California teen inspires others recovering from brain injuries

Every year, 1.7 million people suffer a brain injury. Car and boat accidents are the leading cause, a reminder that a person's life can change dramatically in an instant. This is what the 19-year-old sister of California ultimate fighter Urijah Faber discovered recently when she was involved in a car crash that left her in a coma. When she awakened eight days later, surgery had already been performed to treat her brain injuries and she was informed that she had suffered a collapsed lung, a fractured tailbone, and was paralyzed on the right side of her body.

The teen had been driving west on Highway 80 with a friend after several hours of shopping for Black Friday bargains at the Roseville Galleria. She swerved to avoid a collision that had taken place on the Auburn/Riverside exit ahead. Her quick reaction allowed her to avoid the collision, but she struck another vehicle. The teen was the most seriously injured.

Since then her life has been filled with medical treatments including checkups with her doctor, sessions in the oxygen chamber at the Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic in Sacramento, and working to improve her short-term memory.

In addition to working on her own rehabilitation, the California teen is working to raise awareness of the more than 5 million people in the United States who are living with disabilities as a result of traumatic brain injuries. She recently joined around 800 others in the Sacramento Walk for Thought, a three mile walk sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of California.

Unfortunately, the teen was unable to avoid the car crash that has changed her life dramatically, but her tenacity and dedication to getting stronger every day are an inspiration to others who have suffered brain injuries.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Urijah Faber's sister on the mend after car crash put her in a coma," Jennifer Garza, March, 27, 2012

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