Brain Injury with Tammy Kirkwood
‘FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education’
Most people live their lives not giving a thought about what they have accomplished. We plug along with day to day events or situations.
UNTIL …. Life stops the way you’re use to! Your abilities change, for example…..physical movement, memory, concentration, motivation, determination, planning (even hourly), mood/behaviour, you change. This can happen with a motor vehicle accident, or blows to the head, or a fall, to name a few.
After my car accident, the first 6 months involved three different hospitals, for intensive rehabilation. When my glascow scale reached 8 out of 15, I was discharged and then able to go home from the hospital to the care of my brother Mike. He gave me 24 hour care for the next 6 months. He was my rock. He rode the roller coaster of recovery with me!
After the accident I had to relearn many things people take for granted. Learning the skills of sitting up in bed or chair unsupported, being in a wheelchair for mobility, using a walker to re learn how to walk, learning how to use the cane for stability were uphill challenges for me. The basic skills of eating, drinking and thinking all had to be relearned. I was a 40 year old woman with the functions of a toddler.
When this unfortunate experience occurs, we are required to work harder, mind & body, than we ever have before just to try and “regain” our abilities. I looked at my head injury in the beginning, with disbelief, anger, and resentment. I couldn’t believe that this had happened to me.
Through a lot of support from family, friends, and therapists, I was guided in how I could move forward. Do I miss my abilities I no longer have? ABSOLUTELY YES! But, I like me and I’m grateful for what I have. My positive thought has always been, IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE!
I’m trying to share what worked for me with the hope that the ideas, might work or help you.
I took my experience as an opportunity to revise me. Through working with and through my deficits, I also learned how to adapt, so I could LIVE.
I’ve come a long way since that day in 2008. Today I am the Vice-Chair of FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform. Now I find myself fighting for other MVA victims so they too can have access to the resources they so desperately need for recovery.
Restarting Your Life – Tammy Kirkwood – beginning my story post accident
Human books share their stories Tammy Kirkwood, who incurred an acquired brain injury after she was involved in a horrific car accident four years ago, chats with Miss Petite Simcoe County Jessica Katie Foster during the Get a Life Festival at the Orillia Public Library Saturday. Both Kirkwood and Foster volunteered to share their stories as human books.
Hundreds rally against cuts to auto insurance benefits TORONTO – Changes to auto insurance benefits for motor vehicle accident victims passed in the Ontario legislature Wednesday as part of the provincial budget.“God help us all,” Tammy Kirkwood said upon hearing the news. “We’re getting a lot less coverage for a lot more money and I’m not sure why.” Kirkwood was one of hundreds of protesters at Queen’s Park rallying against reductions in auto insurance benefits which they say will have the most effect on victims with catastrophic injuries. The 47-year-old Orillia woman said protesters were “flabbergasted” that the provincial government “was trying to disable our resources and our funding to recover.”
Orillia woman involved in serious collision slams province’s planned changes to insurance industry An Orillia woman who was in a car crash seven years ago that left her in a coma worries changes to the auto-insurance industry will have devastating effects. Tammy Kirkwood said the province’s plan to reduce auto-insurance benefits that was passed as part of the budget earlier this year will severely hurt crash victims requiring extensive care.
The Brain’s Way of Healing
The Brain’s Way of Healing is about neuroplasticity’s next step — healing the brain using totally non-invasive methods, including patterns of energy to resynchronize the brain’s neurons when illness or injury causes them to fire improperly. It’s revolutionary and in some instances shocking — we’ll see people’s lifelong afflictions improved, or, in some cases cured almost miraculously. But these are not miracles, and Dr. Doidge explains the science behind these improvements. http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/episodes/the-brains-way-of-healing
FIVE INCREDIBLE NEW WAYS TO HELP THE BRAIN HEAL ITSELF http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/features/five-incredible-new-ways-to-help-the-brain-heal-itself
Thank you for the opportunity to give you my recommendations for the 2020 Budget.
The Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule in the Auto Insurance File needs to be
modernized to protect injured victims.
Catastrophically injured survivors require timely access to substantial funding and
resources to assist them in achieving maximum recovery.
The $2,000,000 base for Catastrophic injuries that was in existence for over 20 years,
was supposed to be reinstated up from the reduction to $1 million made in 2016. The
public is still waiting! With the costs of services increasing, even the $2 million dollars
doesn’t cover all the needs of a person who has suffered a life changing injury. This
government should follow through on their plan to take action for these injured people. It
is noted that even going back up to $2 million is about half of what was available to
Catastrophically injured persons 25 years ago when adjusted for inflation.
The Insurers are traumatizing survivors with the amount as well as the poor quality of
Independent Medical Examinations (IME) that they use to determine the extent of the
injuries. A three strikes rule would allow the insurers to fight against fraud in the system
without halting the recovery of the injured person. Implementing a three strikes rule
protects Ontario inured MVA survivors from improper and unqualified assessors and
their medical reports.
A roster of IME doctors, who are up to date in their training, without regulatory College
cautions on their record and who are truly qualified in their specialties should be a goal
of this government. Communications with treating physicians needs to be necessary to
ask for clarifications of submitted reports.
Attention should be on how and why there is a current $935,000.00 difference in
rehabilitation resources between being seriously injured ($65,000 for non-catastrophic)
and Catastrophic injuries ($1 million). This gap is where many people fall through the
cracks when they cannot get the treatment they need.
There should be independence in the system to ensure Ontario’s injured drivers are
getting the help they need and not just what insurers feel they want to pay for.
We are mandated to purchase a product that isn’t covering us in our time of need.
Will this government provide the leadership to fix it?
Tammy Kirkwood, February 11, 2020
Tammy Kirkwood submission to FSRA Draft Statement of Priorities 2019-007
Tammy Kirkwood wins award at Orillia Business Women’s Association event; Julia Felgner named Young Woman of the Year
Kirkwood, vice-chair of the FAIR Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform, was surprised to hear her name called.
That surprise was evident in the first two words of her speech, only one of which can be repeated here: “holy.”
Kirkwood used to take care of and counsel people with disabilities.
She was critically injured after her vehicle was hit by a dump truck in 2008.
“And then I became my client,” she said.
FAIR (Fair Association of Victims for Accident Insurance Reform)
To understand how Tammy has and is continually achieving excellence and is an innovator for the work that she does, I would like to say a bit about what happened to Tammy to bring her to the point she is at today. On October 24th 2008 Tammy was T-Boned by a dump truck on her way to work. The injuries she sustained were catastrophic including a severe brain injury and many permanent physical injuries. The crash changed her life completely and her recovery was nothing short of a miracle as the doctors did not give much hope to her family for her recovery. However, Tammy, being the determined and amazingly strong willed person she is, did recover. Over time, and with much rehabilitation and determination on Tammy’s part, she has accomplished so much. She continues to live with the injuries she sustained, both physical and mental and has thrived in her ‘new’ life giving back to all who come not only come in contact with her but the community and all those that can’t speak for themselves.