WNY traumatic brain injury survivor shares recovery story to help others

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — “I was traveling down south to a family reunion, we didn’t make it. I was put in a coma for 2 and a half months,” said Shawn Barron of Buffalo.

Back in August of 1995, Shawn Barron was in a car accident that threw him 80 feet in the air. He remembers very little from that day.

“It comes back every now and then as time goes by,” said Barron.

But he’ll never forget what doctors told him after he came out of a coma 2 and half months later.

“They told me I would never be the same again. And they told me that things would be magnified. Like if somebody stepped on my foot, back then it wouldn’t bother me but now it would bother me a whole lot,” said Barron.

Doctors told Shawn he suffered a traumatic brain injury. He had to re-learn how to do basic things, like walking and talking.

At first, it was hard for him to accept his diagnosis. But that all changed when he joined a support group through Headway of WNY.

“We tell about what we went through, we support each other and basically we just be there for each other. It’s a big part of my life now because I look forward to coming every other Tuesday, the first Tuesday and third Tuesday,” said Barron.

“We found that peer support, other folks going through brain injury is very effective in helping people know the steps they have to go through,” said Ronald Fernandez, Headway of WNY Director.

Shawn says he has good days and bad days with his life long diagnosis, but feels blessed to be alive today

“I may make little mistakes or not make mistakes at all but it’s a lifetime journey I’m going through,” said Barron.

Headway of WNY also offers one-on-one support as well as advocates and support specialists.

The peer to peer support groups are free, and completely run by donations. A special gala is taking place at Rich’s Atrium on May 18th to support Headway of WNY.

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