FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – It’s called the Silent Epidemic. Each year 100,000 people die from Traumatic Brain Injury, and 500,000 more are permanently disabled.
But one young girl from Florence, living with TBI, is breaking her silence and raising awareness.
When Devin Kerby was only 4 years old she was riding in a car when they wrecked, hitting a bridge at 60 miles per hour. She flew 20 feet from the car.
Devin had bleeding on the brain, a fractured skull, and was in a coma for a week.
“When they’re telling you your kid might not live, it’s the worst news a parent could ever get,” recalled Devin’s mother, Desiree Kerby.
Devin did wake up, but she couldn’t remember how to walk, talk, or even eat. She had to relearn everything.
“She’s come a long way,” said Desiree. “Back then I wouldn’t believe she’d be where she is today, I’m so grateful.”
At 12 years old, the shy young girl made it her mission to help her community understand Traumatic Brain Injury.
Some of the symptoms she still lives with today.
“She has trouble with short term memory,” said Desiree. “At school if you’re learning multiplication tables, we’ll show her, she’ll get it, then it’s like it’s gone.”
Devin says her teachers have been understanding, but her peers don’t always understand her condition, especially since day-to-day she mostly seems like any other middle school student.
But Devin wants to change that. Throughout March she has been selling ribbons, bracelets, and keychains, all green for Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness month.
Her school organized a fundraiser, and so far Devin has raised more than $100 on her own.
“It’s so wonderful because sometimes if you have a disability it could be a negative, to make it a positive like that and help other people is amazing.”
All proceeds from the ribbon, keychain, and bracelet sales will go to the Kevin Pearce Fund, an organization focused on brain injury prevention, rehabilitation and brain health.
If you would like more information on how to purchase any of the items or donate you can contact Desiree Kerby at email@example.com. Or the family asks you donate directly to the Kevin Pearce Fund.