ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A world-renowned snowboarder returned to Craig Hospital where he began his recovery for a brain injury. Kevin Pearce was critically injured in during training in Dec. 2009.
Pearce struck his head above the left eye halfway down the pipe during a half-pipe training run in Park City, Utah.
“I landed like that and if I’d landed may 90 degrees further I would have been okay,” said Pearce when speaking of his injury.
That began Pearce’s journey of rehabilitation where he had to learn to walk, talk and even swallow all over again. He’s still battling some injuries suffered in that training.
“You know I am still have some kind of serious issues with my vision,” said Pearce. “A lot of memory loss, a lot of different memory issues.”
While Pearce is working to overcome those obstacles he returned to Craig Hospital on Friday to talk to others who are struggling with their own challenges in their recovery.
“So nice and such an inspiration. Makes me want to get out of my chair,” said one patient after meeting Pearce.
“You will, you will,” responded Pearce.
He’s doing more than giving words of encouragement at the hospital.
Pearce started the “Love Your Brain” foundation to raise awareness about traumatic brain injuries.
The foundation gave $10,000 to help other patients at Craig Hospital.
“I was so lucky to come here,” said Pearce.
He’s still involved with snowboarding. He even got to carry the Olympic torch in Sochi and managed to put his foundation’s sticker on the torch.
“I don’t think they were too happy about it,” said Pearce.
Pearce is doing well and he’s helping others know that they can, too.