Mike MacKenzie of Island EMS uses Daniel Ugwuja as a volunteer to show how an individual is strapped into a spine board during an information session on helmets and brain injuries at the Murphy’s Community Centre.
If you won’t wear a helmet for yourself while biking then you should wear one for the sake of your family members, the president of the Brain Injury Association of P.E.I. told a group of Islanders this weekend.
More than 50 individuals showed up for a “Noggin Knowledge” information session held by the association at Murphy’s Community Centre in Charlottetown Saturday.
Those who attended were almost half of the 114 individuals who were ticketed by Charlottetown police officers this summer while riding a bike without a helmet. Individuals had the option to either pay a fine or attend the session to learn how helmets can prevent brain injuries.
Kenneth Murnaghan, president of the P.E.I. Brain Injury Association told participants that a brain injury doesn’t only affect the individual’s life.
“It also affects everyone around you,” said Murnaghan, who himself has lived with a brain injury since a bicycle accident when he was 10.
The event also saw a number of guest speakers including Dr. Aaron Sibley of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Room.
Participants learned that brain injuries affect personalities and cause behavior changes that often lead to a loss of friendships and social disconnect.
Mike MacKenzie of Island EMS showed the process used when responding to a possible brain injury.
MacKenzie had used participant Daniel Ugwuja as a volunteer to show how the individual is strapped into a spine board.
Ugwuja said he felt the session was informative.
“It was good, I asked a few questions and got some good responses,” he said.
Cst. Melissa Craswell of Charlottetown Police Services said she also felt the session was informative.
The last speaker of the session was Tracy Perry, whose 14-year-old son Jordon died as a result of not wearing a helmet when biking.
Jordon was 12 when he got into the biking accident. He lived for nearly two years after the accident with little mobility.
“He (Jordon) was adorable and he would do anything for you…. It was just one mistake,” she said, noting that most days her son would wear a helmet while biking.
Craswell and Murnaghan both said they felt Perry’s story hit home for many in the crowd.
“It puts it all in perspective,” said Craswell. “It just shows how it can happen to anyone.”