Samantha Ambrose is the typical home town girl.


Dear Editor:



 



Samantha Ambrose is the typical home town girl. Born and raised in Port St. Joe, she had the opportunity to be an integral part of the 1998 Lady Sharks softball district champions. Samantha played the key position of catcher. She is best known for her beautiful smile and competitive spirit.



On November 15, 1998, Samantha’s life and the life of this who love her were forever changed. Samantha was involved in an automobile accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).



It was doubtful that Samantha would recover and if she did, she would never be the same vivacious, quick-witted individual we had known. With the prayers and support of her family and her community, Samantha not only survived her accident, but has gone on to far exceed everyone’s expectations. She astounded everyone with her will and determination by walking the stage with her graduating class and little help from her friends.



Fast forward 15 years later. As is true for most TBI survivors, the outward manifestation of her accident is almost nonexistent; however, the day-to-day struggle of integrating into life is constant. TBI survivors suffer with multiple symptoms. Memory loss, debilitating headaches, personality changes, inability to control inhibitions/anger, lack of social skills, not to mention any physical disability that may go along with the initial injury.



The CDC reports that every year, at least 1.7 million TBIs occur in the United States. TBI is a contributing factor to 30.5 percent of all injury-related deaths in the United States and about 75 percent of the TBIs that occur each year are concussion or other forms of mild TBI that studies are not linking to Alzheimer’s and/or dementia in later years.



Funding for the intensive reintegration and life-long care many of these survivors need is almost nonexistent. Few private insurances cover life-long care. Government-funded insurance is rare and private pay options are only afforded to the affluent. Currently, Michigan is the only state to provide no-fault auto insurance that covers unlimited medical rehabilitation benefits. This added coverage is set aside for Michigan residents for pennies per day for each insured driver in the state.



We, the family and friends of Samantha Ambrose, are asking for your help. Our aim is to raise awareness of the long-long commitment and financial burden that often befalls the families and caregivers of those who have suffered a TBI. We seek to inform the public that through our efforts, TBI survivors can receive the car and attention they need to return to society as productive individuals. As a start, we encourage you to contact your state representatives to request the same automobile no-fault coverage be afforded to the citizens of Florida. We humbly ask that as you are able to contribute to the account set up at Tyndall Federal Credit Union to continue Samantha’s recovery.



To donate, call TFCU at 850-769-9999 and ask for “Account for Samantha Ambrose.”



You may contact Susie Ambrose at 580-819-1513 or email LSA@knology.net for further details on how you can help.



A Fish Fry fundraiser will take place on July 12 at Frank Pate Park in Port St. Joe. Fish, coleslaw, baked beans and bread will be served for $7 a plate and the event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.



 



The Ambrose Family



Port St. Joe