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Halifax chef speaks about traumatic brain injury

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Halifax chef Lauren Marshall was working in the Bahamas on a special event in February when she fainted and fell from a golf cart, hitting the back of her head. While she was only unconscious for three minutes, she sustained a traumatic brain injury.

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. Marshall says she is feeling better after her injury.

“It’s almost like starting a new chapter in your life. I feel good, I look good, and every day is a different day for me,” she said in an interview with CTV’s Crystal Garrett on Wednesday.

“I think what is beautiful about how the brain works is that when I woke up in the hospital, I didn’t really understand what was really wrong with me and I thought I was kind of fine but I was in the hospital. So the brain does beautiful things to make you feel comfortable, I think it allows your body to rest and begin to heal.”

Marshall said the best way to describe a brain injury is that it’s kind of like living with an invisible disability.

“It’s remembering things, daily tasks. It’s good to make notes and make a plan. A lot of space and time and not a lot of activities.”

The first six months after the brain injury are the most important she said.

“The best thing that happened to me in my first appointment when I came back from the hospital in Miami is the doctors and nurses said the first six months of a brain injury are the most important. That is when the brain is going to start to show signals and start healing itself. So that time is really important to heal.”

Marshall said having other people tell their stories about living with brain injury can be comforting for others who are going through a similar situation.

“Hearing other people’s stories, it feels like you kind of have a friend. I know I bought a book and reading those stories about other people who have gone through the same thing comforts me. Seeing others go through the same symptoms as me and similar stories. It’s comforting knowing other people feel the same way.”

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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