Picture yourself living life in the Grand Cayman islands. Every day, you get to see gorgeous oceanside views and live in a place most people only ever dream of seeing. That was Zara Dyer’s life in 2016. She worked as a scuba diving instructor, spending each day out in the water helping people make life-long memories while they interacted with marine life.
Things were picture-perfect up until the moment where it all seemingly came to an unexpected end. Read on to learn more about Zara’s harrowing experience with brain injury, her incredible recovery and what you can do to support her and the neurological health of many — including yourself.
When the Odds Are Against You
On a regular weekday morning, Zara Dyer was on her way to work. She was driving down her usual route, when she suddenly began to experience a seizure. She hadn’t had a history of seizures, so the news had an extra layer of shock for the friends and family upon hearing about it. The seizure caused Zara’s car to swerve and crash into a brick wall.
When she got to Jackson Memorial Hospital, doctors diagnosed her with multiple severe injuries. She would have to wake up to paralysis on the right side of her body, six brain bleeds and a fractured neck. A long recovery period and physical therapy were going to take up all of her time in the near future. Her family immediately flew out to the hospital and began the process of getting permission to bring her to a hospital closer to their hometown.
Life After the Wreck
Zara Dyer spent months in recovery, undergoing two additional surgeries to correct her rotational double vision. After the surgery, she regained her sense of balance and learned to walk again. When her therapy was complete, she hit the ground running, submitting a proposal to begin the 3 Million Steps charity.
This charity aims to raise funds for anyone needing brain rehabilitation. In addition, any money raised would also support loved ones who would need to travel and have somewhere to stay while their family or friends recovered in the hospital. People are welcome to join along the way as Zara and her boyfriend, Ian Brown, walk the length of the UK.
Importance of Brain Injuries and Risk Prevention
Unless your family has an extended medical history regarding epileptic seizures, it’s easy to think that you’re not at risk for one. However, non-epileptic seizures occur as well in unsuspecting people. They can be caused by anxiety attacks, low blood pressure or even a fainting spell. For a minority of people, seizure triggers could also be a number of other things, like having a fever, dealing with a menstrual period and not getting enough sleep.
To best protect yourself from seizures, you can take steps to prevent them from happening. Keep your stress levels as low as possible and monitor your blood pressure. It’s also smart to protect yourself from brain injuries that could leave you susceptible to seizures.
Zara Dyer’s incredible story has been an inspiration to many, as she launches her successful charity that will run until September of next year, the three-year anniversary of her accident. It’s brought attention to the real risk that people who don’t have a family history of epilepsy can still have strokes. Take care of yourself, and support incredible charities like Zara’s!