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The Importance of Laughter - Andy's Story

This story highlights the importance of laughter, and of the vital work of organizations like the Victoria Brain Injury Society (VBIS) in our community. This story was written by VBIS volunteer Gray Leigh, as told to him by Andy L.

Andy’s Story

Laughter has been termed a source of healing in many cultures, a respite from the unavoidable and persistent trials that plague everyday life. The human condition has, since time immemorial, been defined by an eternal need to seize the day and draw out as much delight from each and every experience as one can. The ability to make light of the obstacles before us can become burdensome in the face of adversity, preluding a scenario that can rid life of the beauty surrounding it. While losing an optimistic perspective can spell a bad day for some, a negative outlook holds the potential to displace a survivor of brain injury on their endless path to recovery.

Andy has always been considered a funny guy, the kind of person that’s able to dissolve the tension in a room with a gut-wrenching wisecrack. For the Victoria Brain Injury Society, his sense of humour is welcomed as a critical resource in the ongoing battle against cognitive disability.

After all, it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile.

This is a fact that Andy subconsciously promotes. After sustaining a brain aneurysm at the age of thirty-nine, he spent a significant amount of time in a coma-an experience that is remembered by a narrow, fading scar above his right eyebrow. With VBIS’ help, his continuous recovery process has been sped up by the organization’s broad catalogue of services that are designed to educate survivors about their complicated injuries. His infectious laugh can be heard throughout the building, as fellow clients and volunteers are confronted with the often hysterical punchlines to his witty puns. His latest comedic offering: printing off a picture of a bone with the caption, “I found this humerus.” A quick anatomy lesson will provide clarity to those scratching their heads, much like how a tour of VBIS’ office can enlighten those who know little about brain injury.

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