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Brain injury is a Canada-wide issue

Brain injuries are an exceptionally common and unusually diverse affliction. As brain injury lawyers know, they can happen to any person of any age at any time, and vary widely in severity. The Ontario Brain Injury Association (OBIA) estimates that nearly 500,000 people in this province are currently living with a brain injury, and 18,000 new cases are added to that total every year.

A recent article from CBC News Nova Scotia highlighted both the prevalence and variety of brain injuries in Canada. It focused on Paul Marvin, who suffered successive concussions in 2010 and 2011, and was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury several years later. His biggest struggle today is with gaps in his memory.

“After the fourth time going to the bottom floor, it was so frustrating that I couldn’t remember what I was doing there,” Marvin told the CBC. “You just sort of stand there in a fog going, ‘What am I doing here?’ It was so frustrating I broke down and cried.”

Paul is one of roughly 100,000 Nova Scotians living with a brain injury, an affliction that has consumed his wife’s life as well as his own. Paige McFarlane left her job with the federal Department of Defence in order to assist her husband in day-to-day tasks. Injury victims’ family members are often forced to make significant personal sacrifices in support of their loved ones, a fact that brain injury lawyers are keenly aware of.

“I have to cue Paul, gosh, probably like three or four times an hour,” she said. “I cue him on different things depending on what’s going on throughout the day. ‘Hey honey, you’ve gotta get ready. We’ve got to get to that appointment.’ And then I have to remind him again, like, ‘Hey, c’mon downstairs and get your shoes on,’ because he has no sense of time. It’s exhausting to keep almost dragging somebody along.”

In the past, Nova Scotian politicians signaled that they understood the scope and gravity of brain injury in their province, and as recently as 2014 the provincial government had discussed the creation of a provincial brain injury strategy.

“We know we need to do more to support those with an acquired brain injury and their families,” former health minister Leo Glavine told Nova Scotia’s legislative assembly at that time. “This strategy will serve as an important road map to determine what needs to be addressed and what the outcomes we expect to see are and how we get there.”

However, plans to create a strategy to aid brain injury victims in Nova Scotia have fallen by the wayside, and the system remains roughly the same today as it was in 2014.

Brain injuries are a daily reality for families in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and around the country. If you or a loved one has suffered a blow to the head, contact Will Davidson LLP’s brain injury lawyers today to learn how our team can help you access compensation.


Image Credit: U.S. Army graphic

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