PEI

P.E.I. brain injury survivors welcome donation

Jake Harper was released from the Prince Edward Home three months ago, but he was thrilled to return Saturday for a special visit.

Charity hopes $1,000 donation to Prince Edward Home program will make recovery 'less boring'

Jake Harper smiles at Troy Adams's son Asher at the Prince Edward Home. The Troy's Run Foundation donated $1,000 Saturday to the home's Advancing Specialized Programs for Young Residents program. (Submitted by Troy Adams)

Jake Harper was released from the Prince Edward Home three months ago, but he was thrilled to return Saturday for a special visit.

The 30-year-old Charlottetown man spent almost three years at the long-term care facility after suffering permanent brain damage from a vicious beating in 2012. He now lives with his parents.

He credits the staff at the Prince Edward Home for helping in his recovery, so he wanted to be there when they received a $1,000 donation from Troy's Run Foundation, a registered charity based out of Ontario that supports brain injury survivors.

"I think it'll help a lot," said Harper, who spent 13 months just learning how to speak again after the injury.

Troy Adams (right) and Jake Harper (middle) present a cheque to Andrew MacDougall of the Prince Edward Home on Saturday. (Submitted/Troy Adams)

The $1,000 will go specifically to a program at the home called Advancing Specialized Programs for Young Residents (ASPYR).

That's important, said Troy Adams, because brain injury survivors at long-term care facilities are often younger than the other residents and have different interests.

I met one of the residents, a brain injury survivor ... who basically said to me, "make it less boring."- Troy Adams

"I met one of the residents, a brain injury survivor ... who basically said to me, 'make it less boring,'" said Adams, the founder of Troy's Run Foundation.

Adams, who suffered a brain injury in 2003 when he was thrown from a car at the age of 16, knows first-hand rehab can be frustrating.

"You're sitting in a room across from your … rehab therapist and they're like 'OK now squeeze that ball,' and it's mind numbing," he said. "You're completely there mentally, you're just like 'something's going on with the body, it's not listening,' and it becomes frustrating and that's where you get a lot of anger."

Yoga classes, Wii console

That's why Adams wants the money to go things like yoga classes and a Wii console.

"Things that are going to complement the lifestyles within the home," he said.

Harper thinks that's a great idea.

He goes back to the Prince Edward Home every Monday to spend the night with his wife, Charlene, who has spina bifida and is a resident there.

Now, he might even try yoga while he's there.

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