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What is a brain injury?

Our brains are central control, overseeing and facilitating everything we think, say, do and feel. So, when it gets damaged, even the simplest of thoughts or actions can suddenly become overwhelming or even unachievable.

There are different types of brain injuries

Brain injuries can be caused by medical conditions such as strokes and aneurysms, infections, oxygen deprivation, brain tumors or neurotoxic substances. These are often called acquired brain injuries.

Brain injuries can also be a result of external force; major causes are motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, assaults and falls. These are known as traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs can range from mild concussion (a brief change in mental status or consciousness) to severe (an extended period of unconsciousness and/or memory loss after the injury). The effects can be temporary or permanent and vary in their level of seriousness and impact.

Brain injury can happen to anyone

Unlike other illnesses or disabilities, traumatic brain injury can happen to any person of any age at any time. Almost 100 people a day suffer a traumatic brain injury in New Zealand. Over half of ACC’s serious injury claims relate to TBI and the New Zealand Treasury has identified it as second only to stroke for their impacts on employment and income.

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Living with a brain injury

TBI affects different people in different ways but often it will have life-changing impact for both the injured and their whānau, friends and community.

TBI can affect a person’s quality of life due to the cognitive, behavioral, emotional and physical effects on their ability to live independently, maintain relationships and return to work or education and leisure activities.

There’s no one size fits all diagnosis or treatment. And often brain injuries are ‘invisible’, making it hard for others to understand and appreciate how it can affect and limit a person.

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"It's made me open my eyes and realise that we're not just alone, there is help out there, and people, and you only need to look and ask"

How we help

Laura Fergusson Brain Injury Trust is an independent, charitable organisation that specialises in assessing, rehabilitating and supporting those impacted by brain injury in Canterbury and the surrounding regions.

Driven to help our clients achieve independence, inclusion and quality of life, our services are designed to equip them and their whānau and friends to find new pathways through life after a brain injury; covering every step of the journey - through inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient treatment, in people’s homes and communities as long-term follow-up/on-going support.

Support our work

As an independent charity, we are grateful to those who kindly support us. Gifts are used to ensure the delivery of our services remains exemplary and assists in advancing our research in the field of brain injury rehabilitation.

Learn more