Statewide event helps people with brain injuries

By KBJR News 1

September 5, 2013 Updated Sep 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - There are stigmas that come with almost any medical ailment and brain injuries are no different. A statewide event is trying to take away the negative images of those who suffer from brain injuries and for one Northland man, their efforts are personal.

"I was in and out of the hospital for six months," said dentist Dr. Jeffrey Somrock of his brain injury, "I went flying off [an ATV] as well and hit my head."

Two accidents on ATV-type vehicles, just five years apart, sent Somrock to the hospital. The first injury was only minor.
The second caused him severe brain swelling, requiring immediate surgery to save his life and over a year away from his office while he recovered.

"You don't always return to the normal person that you were," said Somrock, "For my situation, [there were] very little after effects, but for others it changes their whole life."

"They face hurdles that you or I will probably never face," said Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance volunteer, Brady Slater.

Slater is a volunteer for the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance's annual Walk for Thought event, which aims to give those suffering from brain injuries the help they need.

"They are vibrant, active people who are trying to get their lives back on track after having what amounts to a devastating injury," said Slater.

Somrock says despite his recovery, he still feels fatigued due to his injury and is looking for an associate to help out with his dental office.

If you'd like to take part in the Walk for Thought event, it takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 7th outside the Canal Park Lodge in Duluth.