In 2011, former Olympic hopeful and traumatic brain injury survivor Kevin Pearce visited the High Country to snowboard for the first time since the crash that nearly killed him.
Now, the 26-year-old, who spent a week and a half in a coma and four months at a Denver hospital relearning how to walk and talk, has returned.
Pearce will speak Friday, May 16, at the region’s second annual Brain Injury Conference. He also will present “The Crash Reel,” a documentary about his accident and recovery.
“It’s really cool to come to mountain towns” and ski communities where his story hits home for locals, Pearce said. “It feels much more like my people.”
The medical community, traumatic brain injury survivors and their family members and caregivers are encouraged to attend the conference. Hosted by the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado and St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, the event will be from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The conference and screening are sponsored by the alliance, the Summit Medical Center Health Foundation’s injury prevention programs (ThinkFirst, TBI and Safe Kids), High Country Health Care and Breckenridge residents Howard and Sue Carver.
The documentary screening will start at 7 p.m.
Though the movie revolves around his accident and recovery, Pearce said, “really it’s more about the power of family and what family can do for you.”
He hopes to “teach people that recovery is possible and healing is possible” no matter what hardships they face.
The film focuses on his successful, positive story, he said, and even “if you have nothing to do with winter sports, I guarantee that you’ll be able to take something away from it.”
Pearce will be on hand afterward for a Q&A session and autograph signings. Those who can’t attend can still watch the film through the movie’s website, HBOGo, Itunes or Amazon.
Kim Ramey, chair of the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center traumatic brain injury committee, said money raised from the events will go to the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado.
TOPICS AND SPEAKERS
Mild brain injury — When to refer; when and where to manage — Dr. William M. Coplin, M.D., FCCM
When can I get back to driving? — Terri Cassidy, O.T.
Medications for the treatment of the effects of TBI — Stacia Wilhelm, PharmD
Lunch — Keynote speaker, Kevin Pearce, former professional snowboarder and TBI survivor
Legal issues, timely decision making — Peter Burg, Esq.
Brief history of the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center and camps for people with brain injury — Claire DiCola