'We matter, simple as that': Newport News nonprofit supports people with traumatic brain injuries

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Posted at 1:56 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 18:27:08-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - It's called the "invisible disability" and affects 300,000 Virginians, 16,000 of those located on the Peninsula.

“Brain injury is not some small, insignificant, niche disability that affects people — it's a disability that impacts a lot of individuals, and there are just not a lot of resources out there dedicated to serving this population,” said Denbigh House director Jason Young.

The Denbigh House is a Newport News nonprofit that helps support people living with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) by teaching them life and vocational skills. Debra Jones is a member.

“We matter, simple as that — we matter," Jones said. "We have families, we have friends, we have jobs, we have goals, just like everyone else."

Jones was in a horrific car crash in 1987. She was given a 20 percent chance of survival.

“Suffering the traumatic brain injury really threw a wrench into things for me,” Jones said.

She said she had to relearn basic skills and give up her career as a captain in the Army Reserves.

Jones told us the Denbigh House has given her the opportunity to grow, learn and progress past her diagnosis.

“We’re not giving up on you, brain injury survivors. Keep turning your setbacks into comebacks,” Jones said.

If you're interested in learning more about the Denbigh House, click here.