More from Patrick Gibson
Published on: September 6, 2018 | Last Updated: September 6, 2018 5:01 PM EDT
After three years of recovery, Vinny Gibson is back in the workforce and it’s full steam ahead with her Sunflower Transitions coaching business, now re-focused on brain injury survivors.
Supplied by the Cochrane Times – Canada
It’s been a tumultuous road to recovery for a local life coach who was the victim of a brain injury-inducing traffic incident and now that she’s been able to get back on track, she wants to help others do the same.
“In 2013, I was involved in a car accident on River Avenue where someone came through the intersection and T-boned my vehicle. Two weeks later, I lost my speech, and I was without speech for almost six months,” said Cochranite Vinny Gibson.
“I had a very complicated recovery journey trying to get access to care. I was out of work, out of business for three years, my life was just flattened for three years.”
Gibson had been working as a motivational and life coach prior to being put out of work by the crash. Since returning to work, she’s retooled her Sunflower Transitions consulting business to focus on helping post-concussion and other brain injury survivors navigate an often confusing and intimidating health care system and get on a proper road to recovery.
“Because these types of injuries are invisible, people are accused of faking, or they don’t get access to care or don’t recognize or understand what their symptoms are and that it could be connected to post-concussion syndrome,” she explained.
“It’s been a three-year journey of fighting my way through the medical system.”
Gibson has seen dozens of therapy specialists over the course of her recovery, with varying diagnoses delaying the proper course of therapy for her injury.
“I was diagnosed by a neurologist who said there was nothing wrong with me, and because he said that I did the circuit for three years going through all these people,” she said.
“Finally two-and-a-half years in I found out about something called the Brain Injury Assist Program.
I didn’t need a doctor’s referral to go, and because I met their criteria for treatment, my injury was validated as being a brain injury, I was assigned a brain injury coach who came to my home once per week and she began to teach me about the daily symptom management tools that I now know I can pass on to other people.”
Gibson said that two luxuries that she’s been able to work with that other brain injury survivors might not is her experience in the emotional recovery element, as well as a strong support network of church and family friends making sure she made it to all her appointments.
“That was probably one of my saving graces to be honest,” she said.
From 6:30-8 p.m. on Sept. 17 at the Cochrane Public Library, Gibson will be conducting a free presentation entitled ‘Living the New Normal With a Mild Brain Injury or Post-Concussion Syndrome’.
“Part of my presentation is really about recognizing the injury, what it is, how to get the injury validated, making people aware of what concussions look like by way of symptoms and how might your life change because of this particular injury even if you look well on the outside,” she said.
Residents interested in coming to the presentation are asked to RSVP at cochranepubliclibrary.ca.