Walking Wounded: Brain Injuries 

City Weekly received unanimous praise from online commenters regarding the Nov. 4 cover story, “Insult to Injury,” by Stephen Dark, in which he explores the difficulties faced by survivors of traumatic brain injuries.

One online commenter wondered why Utah’s political leaders have not championed this cause as soldiers return from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with so many IED-related brain injuries.

“I thought we had programs in place to care for these walking wounded,” Dudley wrote. “Where are these programs for the disabled? Maybe we need a senator that can champion this problem, or maybe, [have] human beings actually become less valuable than sand?”

Those are good questions, Dudley, especially because six Utahns survive traumatic head injuries each week, adding to the state’s 44,000 brain-injury survivors.

Rant Control doesn’t wonder where the programs are. Utah voters elect leaders who have repeatedly refused to fund even vision and dental coverage for Medicaid recipients. Toothaches and myopia are health problems most everyone can relate to, and yet the funding is not provided to help those in need. Brain injuries, by contrast, are misunderstood and, in many ways, invisible. So, it’s no wonder the resources are lacking.

Utahns with all sorts of medical needs are treated as burdens, not neighbors. Until that changes, survivors of traumatic brain injuries will have to survive at their own risk.

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Jesse Fruhwirth

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