National Brain Injury Awareness Week At Thornleigh Golf Club – Northern District Times 29th July 2015

WHEN Kris Tucker experienced a stroke three years ago he thought his life was over and never in a million years pictured himself smashing golf balls over a driving range. Next month the Brain Injury Association of NSW in Epping will celebrate National Brain Injury Awareness Week with a golf day at Thornleigh Golf Centre. It may sound like a somewhat abstract connection but golf has changed Mr Tucker’s life. “I used to play golf before my injury,’’ Mr Tucker said. “When I had my stroke I really thought that was the end.’’

During surgery to remove a brain aneurysm, Mr Tucker suffered a stroke.He thought his life would never return to normal and yet now through something as simple as golf he feels completely different. He takes part in an innovative program which gets people with brain injury to play, using one arm, and a device called ParaGolfer. The device allows people to stand upright, opens up their shoulder movements and promotes a natural swing.

“I have been lucky enough to learn to play golf using one arm,’’ Mr Tucker said. “I feel so different now. I’m so pleased to be able to share this experience. It’s such an important part of my recovery. Others down at Thornleigh ask why I can hit the ball so far and I tell them ‘because I’m good’.’’

Jonathan Mercer from pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson has been working with Mr Tucker on organising this upcoming golf day which will allow people with brain injury to try the ParaGolfer. Mr Mercer volunteers with the Brain Injury Association of NSW through his employer’s program which encourages staff to use work time to give back to the community.

“Kris and I are working together and it’s been really good,’’ Mr Mercer said.

“I didn’t know what to expect but it’s great to be involved in such a great cause.’’

The National Brain Injury Awareness Week event will also include tuition, putt putt, use of automated hitting bays and everyone is encouraged to Bang on a Beanie – the official way to show your support for brain injury awareness.

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