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A collision with an 18-wheeler a few months ago at a red light in Saucier sent Coast resident Rickey Latch to the hospital with serious injuries. At the time, he had know idea just how serious they were or would become. Latch began doing some research of his own after his loved ones noticed some changes in his mood and temper, actions that were out of character for the man they had come to know and love. Fortunately, Latch was eventually given the right diagnosis – traumatic brain injury. Three million people in the United States suffer from Traumatic Brain Injury, but Latch is concerned that many people, including teenagers, may also have Traumatic Brain Injury and not even know it. That’s why Rickey Latch is sharing his personal story and his own experience with Traumatic Brain Injury with WXXV’s Coastal Connections host Toni Miles. Latch says he was blessed to live after the accident, pointing out that when the 18 wheeler hit the truck he was driving, 20 gallons of fuel were being carried in his truck bed to help out with the search and rescue team looking for Saucier businessman Dexter Kelly and several others whose plane went missing after taking off from the Gulfport Biloxi International Airport. Photos from the accident show the massive damage to Latch’s truck. He says two wheels on his truck were knocked off during the impact. While Latch received immediate medical treatment for his injuries, his family and friends noticed some changes. Latch says after the accident, he was more irritable than usual and had trouble sleeping, and these are just a few of the symptoms. Eventually, he was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury and is receiving treatment for it. Latch urges anyone who has had a brain injury to look into the possibility of Traumatic Brain Injury. Symptoms include: unusual mood swings, uncharacteristic anger and sadness, disturbed sleep patterns, impulsivity possibly due to frontal lobe damage to the brain, loss of balance, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and sensitivity to light and sound, just to name a few. Latch urges anyone who suspects he or she may have Traumatic Brain Injury to go to the Emergency Room or a local doctor as soon as possible. He says it just may save your life.

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