Tish Peiris Ramp Up Updated 12 Aug 2013 
Tish Peiris was twenty-five when a car accident left her with a traumatic brain injury. She's come a long way almost twenty years later, but her recovery is ongoing. On Brain Injury Awareness Week, she shares her story with ABC Ramp Up.
The documentary The Crash Reel was recently featured at the Melbourne International Film Festival. It tells the story of Kevin Pearce, who had an exciting life in front of him as a professional snowboarder. At 22, he had a near-fatal training accident and acquired a severe brain injury.
According to Brain Injury Australia, brain injury, which ranges from mild to moderate and severe, is widespread in the community. Over 600,000 Australians have an acquired brain injury. Whilst three out of every four are aged under 65, as many as two thirds acquired their brain injury before they turned 25. Three out of every four people with acquired brain injury are men.
Apart from showing how Kevin picked up his life after the accident and the valuable support he received from his family and friends, the film stresses the importance of helmets and insurance. Long-term devastation can come not only from physical and psychological ruin, but also financial hardship that can come for people who are uninsured.
I was 25 and doing an internship at the Colombo Sunday Times newspaper in Sri Lanka when I sustained my traumatic brain injury from a car accident. I had never even heard of brain injury and couldn't understand why on Earth I suddenly found myself back in Australia, bald and in pain, 3 months after saying goodbye to my boyfriend at the time, who was leaving for the US on business and came by my little flat in Colombo to kiss me goodbye on his way to the airport.
It was 1994 and I had a great life. I felt I was really making it as a journalist. I was researching and writing about refugees from Sri Lanka and was planning a trip up north in an army chopper to do the story I really wanted to do, which was a comparison between a young Sri Lankan army soldier and a young Tamil Tiger.
Read the full story at ABC

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