• FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education
  • FAIR – supporting auto accident victims through advocacy and education

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


FSRA speech – Tammy Kirkwood Feb 7 2019

FSRA speech – Tammy Kirkwood Feb 7 2019

Since 2010 our coverage has been slashed and reduced by the insurers lobbying for changes that increases their profits on the backs of MVA survivors and their families and ultimately us, the tax payer. With every cut to coverage we move closer to public auto insurance. With every ‘threshold’ insurers create, there is a new barrier to access recovery tools. 

Our premiums keep rising and now the standard or basic coverage is not enough to provide necessary resources or funding for seriously injured people. 

This has led to an enormous number of auto insurance related cases in our courts and a lack of faith in the industry overall……read more

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Tammy Kirkwood- Pre-Budget 3 minute speech in Orillia Jan 25, 2019

Since 2010 our coverage has been slashed and reduced by insurers lobbying for a changes that increases their profits on the backs of MVA survivors and their families and us, the people.

We’ve gone from millions in coverage to over 80% of claims now capped at $3500 for medical and rehabilitation in less than a decade.

Our premiums keep rising and now the standard or basic coverage is not enough to provide necessary resources or funding for seriously injured people. 

10 years ago I survived a very serious car accident just outside of Orillia. I wouldn’t be here without those necessary resources & the funding that was available to Ontario drivers back then.

Everyone deserves a chance to recover but in Ontario that isn’t possible anymore.

We pay big dollars to be covered so we expect that if somebody gets injured, like I was, there would be resources for them to get back to their lives.

We don’t expect to pay high premiums and end up being dumped by our insurer on OW, ODSP and welfare. Now accident survivors are expected to lean on others and one of those ‘others’ is you and I, the taxpayers. 

We need to remember that when Insurers fail us, they are taking away the ability recover and the possibility of becoming a productive member of society again.

The amount insurers have paid doesn’t come close to the real costs of recovery. According to the Attorney General of Ontario the previous government failed to hold insurers financially accountable for the agreed transfer of funds to the province to cover some of these medical costs..

The last government never went after those funds – and it is well over a billion dollars lost. Will you make them pay?

It’s time we hold insurers accountable and make them pay the real costs of recovery and support. It’s not time to lower premiums or slash coverage. It’s time for insurers to come clean about where all the premium dollars have gone and why they continue to fail Ontario MVA survivors.

In my written submission you’ll find the links and more information on the financial loss to our healthcare and social services.

2016 HSPRN report estimate of the healthcare cost to taxpayers was $383,099,805 for MVAs in 2013/14. http://www.fairassociation.ca/2016/03/hsprn-report-cost-of-public-health-services-for-ontario-residents-injured-as-a-result-of-a-motor-vehicle-accident-3/

The Auditor General pointed out failure to index medical costs from insurers in 2005 and 2011. The transfer payment was last increased from $80 million to $142 million dollars in 2006 so in the past 13 years over $1 billion has fallen through the cracks.  See page 65 2011 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario http://www.auditor.on.ca/en/content/annualreports/arreports/en11/301en11.pdf

Insurers routinely download the costs of accident victims onto social services such as OW, ODSP. Social Assistance Summaries https://maytree.com/wp-content/uploads/Social_Assistance_Summaries_ON.pdf

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Brian Injury and Personality Change

Brain Injury Can Change Your Personality

Traumatic brain injury or concussion are both considered to be forms of brain damage and have many long and short-term impacts on the patient.  We all know about the headaches and sensitivity to light and sound that can occur, but many people are less aware of the fact that brain injury can result in changes in personality. The changes can be sublet of severe and can be permanent.


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Numbers and severity of brain injuries raises dementia risk

SEATTLE — A large study offers more evidence of a link between traumatic brain injuries and dementia later in life, with repeated injuries and severe ones posing the greatest danger.

Researchers analyzed 36 years of health records of 2.8 million people in Denmark, where a national health system makes it possible to explore connections in a far-reaching way.


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Judge lambastes Legal Aid Ontario after it foots bill for woman who married her ex-boyfriend after he suffered a ‘catastrophic’ brain injury and then spent years fighting his family in court

A woman who surreptitiously married her ex-boyfriend after he suffered a “catastrophic” brain injury spent six years fighting his family in court — paid for by Ontario’s taxpayer-funded legal aid system.


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