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Head Games: Protective headgear needed for winter fun

Annabel Weyand is now a picture of health--but that wasn't the case over the holidays while on a snowboarding trip to Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Just days before her mother had given her an early present to open.

"It was a helmet,” Annabel said. “I didn't really want to wear a helmet because I didn't think it was a thing I would want to wear on the slopes because most girls want to look cute!”

Fortunately she did because on her first run down the mountain she slipped and slammed her head into the ice.

“It was excruciating,” Annabel recalled. “It was the worst pain that I've ever been in and I was in complete shock."

Annabel went to the hospital with a mild concussion--her head would get better--but her helmet suffered a large gash where it protected the back of her skull.

Baylor-Plano orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Berry said her helmet prevented a far worse injury.

"Had she not had this helmet on and as a physician and dealt with many head injured I can tell you that we may be having a very different conversation."

The same can be said for Daniel Borg who suffered an even worse head injury on the same trip to Beaver Creek.

His accident was captured on video and you can hear his head hit the ice.

Daniel suffered seizures on his way to the hospital and even now he doesn't remember anything about the event—or much about his stay in the hospital.

"I remember getting messages from people and responding and then about a week later I had no idea I did that,” Daniels said. “There are a bunch of little things I did in the hospital that I can't really remember at all."

Daniel’s short term memory is back and a recent checkup gave him a clean bill of health.

Dr. Berry advised that whatever helmet you choose make sure it fits and covers the back or your head.

"It's important to pick a helmet that is going to cover not just above the ears but actually come down below the occiput and cover the back of the skull," Dr. Berry said.

That's probably what prevented Daniel and Annabel from suffering debilitating injuries.

And what about that gift that Annabel received from her mom?


"I don't know what it would have been had I not worn a helmet," Annabel said.



Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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