Hidden Wounds - NBC Chicago

Hidden Wounds

1 in 3 injured troops suffer traumatic brain injury

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    Hidden Wounds
    Traumatic brain injuries can take years to recover from.

    They're called invisible war wounds. And you've probably heard about one of them: the devastating psychological condition called PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder.

    As many as one in three injured troops, and more than 3 million civilians in the U.S. suffer from another injury you can't see from the outside.

    It's called a traumatic brain injury, and it can affect a person's memory, learning, even their personality.

    At the Hines V.A. Hospital near Chicago, returning veterans are getting help from high-tech devices to adjust to their injuries.

    Hidden Wounds

    [CHI] Hidden Wounds
    A brain injury occurs every 21 seconds in the U.S., taking a toll on the victim as well as their family.
    (Published Tuesday, July 28, 2009)

    A Chicago-area civilian has become the first brain injury patient to write a book about TBI, as it's called.  Brian Sweeney was assaulted 17 years ago, kicked in the head while he was unconscious. He almost died.

    Brian still has to cope with memory loss, emotional episodes, and a brain that often races from thought to thought.  But he's come a long way. 

    In "Every 21 Seconds," Brian said he wants to help other families understand what to expect on the road back from a traumatic brain injury, and to understand what they can do to help.