On February 12th, 1998, Ann Boriskie was on her way to the dentist when she was involved in a car accident. At the time of the accident she showed no signs of injury. However, not long after the accident she started having problems and was diagnosed with Post-Concussion Syndrome. They did not offer her help or support, instead told her to wait for her symptoms to disappear on their own.
At the end of 2001, Ann began developing a program to help those who have experienced any form of brain injury (including stroke and traumatic brain injury). By 2006, she had built The Brain Injury Peer Visitor Program, a non-profit organization modeled after the Peer Program of the American Stroke Association. Their slogan explains it best: “We offer Hope, Support, Empathy, Education, and Information for hospitalized and rehabilitating brain injury survivors and their families, from someone who has BEEN THERE and DONE THAT.” Ann explains “We’re there to try to help people understand some of the changes they are going through, to hopefully not be scared.”
Today, Ann has built an incredible network of over 150 volunteers, 85% of whom are survivors of a brain injury and 15% are experienced caregivers. They operate in 41 Hospitals and Rehab Facilities in the Atlanta area and throughout Georgia as well as in Florida and Wisconsin. They have made 51,760 Peer Visits through December of 2017. They also offer Peer Visits, support, and information via telephone for survivors throughout the country. Ann’s army of volunteers go through an application and interview process. “We’re a group of real positive people, held to the highest moral standards. This is our mission, we were allowed to live to help other people.”
In the future, Ann hopes to “Continue running the association and Peer Visiting with as many individuals as possible throughout the U.S. and world.” MobilityWorks is proud to be a supporter of Ann and her team of volunteers.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or are looking for information on resources, support, facts, and tools for recovery, visit www.braininjurypeervisitor.org