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Jennifer's Heroes: Charlottesville Brain Injury Support Group

By: Jennifer Black Email
By: Jennifer Black Email

September 23, 2010

One family has found that, an event which almost broke them down, is helping other families grow stronger. The Charlottesville Brain Injury Support Team was featured on this week's Heroes.

A. W. Ragland was in his car for five hours before help came. He went on to spend two weeks as the most critical patient in the University of Virginia Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

Ragland says, "Truck went off the road, I went into the windshield. I don't remember the accident itself, then next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital four or five weeks later.

His mother, Carol Ragland, describes when he first woke up.

"We were told when he woke up, don't expect him to just start talking like on TV, and he didn't. It was almost a month before my husband heard him say his first word.... they eventually learn how to eat, swallow sometimes that can take months for some of them."

"I was frustrated, felt like I was being treated like a little kid, I thought I could do all the things I could do before, but in all actuality I couldn't," shares A.W.

Carol says she never wanted other mothers to feel the same way she did, so she started the Charlottesville Brain Injury Support Team. The team offers support and socialization for families who are dealing with similar traumas.

Charlottesville Brain Injury Support Team has been around for two and a half years now. They are in the process of creating a support team for young adults, ages 17-35, as well. The group meets on the third Tuesday of the month from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Meeting Place:

UVA Health South Rehab Hospital, first Floor Conference Room
515 Ray C. Hunt Dr.
Charlottesville, Virginia

Carol Ragland 434-969-4597 E-mail:

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