Skip to main content

To create a better future for all Nebraskans through brain injury prevention, education, advocacy and support.

Welcome to the BIA-NE website

Survivor Stories

Brian Webb, Halfsy Hero

Hello, my name is Brian Webb and I will be running the Good Life Halfsy in the fabulous city of Lincoln, Nebraska on October 28th. This
will be my 16th half marathon and my 22st distance race. Why do I run one might ask? Because I can. I have been given a new lease on life. I
am a brain injury survivor, and that is my why.

My head trauma happened twenty years ago, a week after graduating from the University of Kentucky. It was the spring of 1998, and I was at
home in Maysville, Kentucky. My parents and I were planning out my future. We decided that it what would be best for me to work with my father as a paid intern in the growing Information Technology field. I drove back home to Lexington, KY to plan for my next big adventure.

“Life happens while making plans.” When I arrived at my apartment I laid on my couch and felt the twinge of a headache coming on. The pain
became intense, I ran to the bathroom got sick and passed out. Fortunately, my brother arrived on the scene, called 911 and an ambulance picked me up. No one knew what happened to me. My parents rushed to the hospital. My friends who I just graduated with where there as well. My pastor picked up my grandfather because this may be the last time he would see his grandson.

What happened? I suffered an intercranial hemorrhage to the back of my brain. The medical term is an A.V.M. (Arteriovenous Malformation). Think of the body as a plumbing system. Arteries and veins as a plumbing system. My arteries and veins became tangled in the back of my brain resulting in a clot. My parents told me that the doctors said that I would have a 50/50 percent chance of survival and if I survive, I more than likely be catatonic.

I was in a coma for three days, awoke and said, “Is this it Dad” He began to cry. I began rehabilitation and started to become better, however I then contracted bacterial meningitis. That should have killed me. I am thankful to be alive. The road to recovery was and still is long and hard. Running is the perfect metaphor for my new life. I am running to live! Aerobic activity helps to grow gray matter within the brain. This and many other discoveries about the body and myself has
led me to a passion to help other survivors, particularly veterans. Soldiers are returning with TBI and PTSD. Running helps to quiet the voices and inspires me to stay on the path towards success. I want to share my discoveries with our soldiers. The road less traveled is a long, sometimes lonely road. However, realizing how far I have come, I know I will be successful. Stay strong, don’t quit, and never give up. I will see you at the finish line!

News & Notes

Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City have found that patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) also show signs of asymptomatic brain injury. They reported the results of their study at the American Heart Association Scientific Session conference in Chicago. “We think patients with atrial fibrillation experience chronic, subclinical cerebral injuries,” said Oxana Galenko, Ph.D., the study’s lead investigator. In the study, researchers performed MRIs on atrial fibrillation patients and found that 41% showed signs of at least one kind of a silent brain damage.

New changes to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) are being touted by B.C.’s NDP government as a way to save the money-losing insurer a billion dollars a year, but a B.C. health advocate says the new regulations will bring challenges to some head injury victims. “We’ve come to the realization that there is no such thing as a minor brain injury,” says Geoffrey Sing, chair of the British Columbia Brain Injury Association. One of the new changes would reclassify mild concussions as minor injuries, likely capping pain and suffering awards at $5,500. Sing says the move is overly broad given the huge range of outcomes with head injuries and concussions.