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When San Diego resident, Jeremy Arbogast, 19, landed in the hospital after suffering a traumatic brain injury from a skateboarding accident, doctors told his parents he would never be the same. The brain injury left Arbogast in a comma for weeks and resulted in him losing his memory, losing is ability to walk, feed himself, and other necessary basic tasks. Confronting the obstacles ahead of him, Arbogast emerged from his comma and with great determination and pushed himself to walk again, strengthen his memory and reestablish himself.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the No. 1 cause of both death and disability in children and young adults. Among children ages 0 to 14 years, traumatic brain injuries result in an estimated 400,000 emergency department visits each year, according to the Center for Disease Control. After coming out of his comma and undergoing surgery, Arbogast was taken to Alvarado Hospital’s San Diego Rehabilitation Institute where he worked with physicial therapists to learn how to walk again, feed himself and regain his memory.

Arbogast has been recovering from his injury for a year. He is able to walk again, remembers his family and continues to skateboard and play the guitar. As a result of his accident, he experiences seizures that restrict him from driving, but he hopes the seizures are a temporary side effect.

Since his injury, Arbogast has been advocating to his friends and other teens to wear helmets. “Most kids won’t wear a helmet, because they think it’s not cool and they just don’t think that they can experience a head injury that will change their lives,” said Arbogast. “It’s terrifying to have to experience the trauma I had to go through and I want other teens to know that they can prevent this from happening by simply wearing a helmet."