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Snowboarder Turned Surfer Offers Insight Into Life After TBI

Kevin Pearce used to rip and shred through fresh powder, trying and mastering new tricks that made him a rival to top professional snowboarders like Shaun White. Pearce, who was slotted to be a serious contender in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, was unable to compete. He had to back out not because of pressure from competitors, but because he suffered a tragic snowboarding accident in 2009.

The accident occurred while Pearce was attempting to master a new maneuver. He is still recovering from the traumatic brain injury, or TBI, that resulted from the accident.

Pearce is using his story to help increase public awareness of the tragic impact a TBI can have on the victim and the victim’s family. The athlete paired with director Lucy Walker to tell his tale in a HBO documentary film.

Pearce’s story is not uncommon for victims of traumatic brain injuries. Some suffer a few weeks of headaches and short-term memory loss while others face years of difficulties and may have life-altering consequences. Pearce falls into the later category. The young man may never again be able to execute the maneuvers he was famed for, but he has found another outlet: surfing. Surfing has offered the athletic Pearce a creative outlet while he continues to heal from his accident.

Although other outlets are often available for those who suffer long-term consequences of a TBI, life may never be the same. Depending on the cause of the accident, those who suffer from TBIs may be eligible to receive compensation for their injuries. If the injury is a result of another’s negligence, compensation to cover medical and rehabilitative costs may be available. Contact an experienced brain injury attorney to discuss your situation and potential legal remedies.

Source: UT San Diego, “Snowboarder Kevin Pearce’s new film airs on HBO,” Pat Graham,” July 15, 2013