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As a brain injury rehabilitation therapist, some days it can be simply painful to read the news. Today was one of those days. Sometimes, the media seems incapable of appreciating the seriousness of brain injuries and willful in its disregard for the importance of conveying to the public the reasonable actions necessary to prevent those injuries. Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest player in the history of basketball, decided to go jet skiing. Being a smart man, Jordan wore a protective helmet. It was not worn for fashion but for function. For some reason, Pete Blackburn of Uproxx (as posted on Yahoo), decided to make fun of Jordan for wearing the helmet. This is the offending article:
The article is just silly and encourages poor safety awareness. The fact is that people do get brain injuries and even die in jet ski accidents. Jordan was entirely correct in his decision to wear a helmet. To put this issue in perspective, I would like to provide a few examples of people who have suffered brain injuries while jet skiing.
Duke University football player Blair Holliday nearly died due to a traumatic brain injury sustained in a jet ski accident (http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/05/definitely-a-miracle-former-duke-football-wide-receiver-blair-holliday-earns-degree-after-suffering-traumatic-brain-injury-in-july-2012).
Lisa Votaw suffered a brain injury in Minnesota when the jet ski she was riding flipped over (http://www.fergusfallsjournal.com/2016/06/fergus-falls-woman-injured-in-jet-ski-accident/).
Firefighter Mike Yurchak of Pennsylvania also suffered a serious brain injury in a jet ski accident (http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/mohnton-firefighter-in-coma-after-jet-ski-accident-in-maryland).
Similarly, this past January a woman in Miami received a brain injury when she was involved in a collision of two jet skis (http://miami.cbslocal.com/2016/01/31/woman-hospitalized-after-jet-ski-accident-on-miami-beach/).
Jordan should be appreciated, not lambasted, for taking reasonable precautions by wearing a helmet on a jet ski. There are already enough injuries out there. We do not need to discourage anyone from being safe while having fun.
Learn about the Moody Neurorehabilitation Institute’s brain injury treatment services.