Sport wide support for an injured rider and friend
Official ARF Brett Banasiewicz Update # 2
Temecula, CA 9/13/12 - On August 23rd Brett Banasiewicz was attending the LXVI BMX Invitational presented by Vans in Virginia Beach. While practicing for the competition Brett crashed on a 720. Brett was knocked unconscious and immediately taken to a local Trauma 1 care facility by ambulance. Doctors determined after CT scans that multiple bleeds were found on his brain and they prescribed close monitoring of inter cranial pressure (ICP) while sedating him so that he could get full rest and begin the recovery process.
21 days later Brett has made small but positive improvements showing movement on both sides of his body while responding to some basic commands. Brett is now clear of steroids and sedation medications and as of yesterday his feeding tube was removed which has offered him a lot more comfort. Pending a swallow test Brett may be able to keep the feeding tube out going forward. Due to damages suffered to his vocal cords during the emergency intubation on site and the feeding tube, he is not yet able to speak. There have been some signs of infection but Brett has responded well to antibiotics and the feeding tube has been repositioned to his stomach.
Family and friends have been by his side every minute of every day offering encouragement and support. There is a huge outpouring of support from the action sports community, and his family is very grateful for all the messages and well wishes.
Athlete Recovery Fund (ARF) continues to work with the family, insurance and next steps of Brett’s recovery which will be his rehabilitation. Neurological doctors have suggested that Brett will make a 100% recovery but it will take some time. Currently ARF is working with Brett’s insurance to determine the amount of costs they will cover for him while in the Virginia Hospital. This will take several weeks to go through the entire process, but all paperwork needed is being carefully submitted by ARF so that all options are available to help cover the largest percentage possible of the costs involved with care thus far.
It is clear that Brett’s insurance will not cover out of state care for rehabilitation and a facility in Atlanta Georgia has been identified as one of the nation’s best facilities for acute inpatient traumatic brain injury rehabilitation. That is one of several strong options that are being considered for Brett’s rehabilitation which will include a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks of intensive therapy. ARF is working closely with the facility, several companies and individuals who wish to donate towards Brett’s recovery in order to try and get him a reserved space which might require a pre-paid sum.
Earlier in the year Brett had signed up for the Medjet Membership program paid for by ARF so the medical transportation will be fully covered. If all goes well Brett will be transferred into a rehabilitation therapy center early next week.
It will take up to a month to fully understand what costs will be passed on to Brett for care related to this injury. We appreciate all the people who have come forward wanting to help and currently all donations can be made at http://www.athleterecoveryfund.com ARF i.s working diligently to determine the exact amount and impact this will have on Brett’s family. Future fundraisers and donation opportunities will be a big focus in the near future for those who are able to help. At this time we would like to encourage everyone who wants to send Brett well wishes to do so through his Twitter @iMaddog9 or via his Facebook Fan Page. When the time comes we will be asking for your help to spread the word about our fundraising goals to assist Brett and his family.
Due to the awareness around this injury ARF is coordinating with industry leaders to take a look at helmet safety during competition. Changes will be likely in the very near future for BMX riders and the types of helmets they are allowed to use while in competition. Currently there are rules in place, but they have been ignored up to this point. Following this injury, contests will have consequences and restrict competition if the wrong helmet is worn. There is a positive that can come out of this injury, and that will help make BMX safer for all those who compete in the future.
Athlete Recovery Fund Mission Statement:
To provide professional athletes in BMX, FMX and Skateboarding with financial support after a severe injury and granting funds for rehabilitation, equipment, long-term disability and educational scholarships.