KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video ThinkFirst Northern Nevada

ThinkFirst Northern Nevada

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Wendy Damonte
Channel 2 News

2008 was the best year of Drew Simpson's life. He was an all state baseball player for Reno High School, pitching his team to a state title game. He went on to play baseball at Feather River College. His life and baseball career were taking off.

2008 was also the worst year of Drew's life. That fall, he returned from college to go to a party. And in a split second, his life would change forever. "I was drinking and from what I was aware of I fell down three steps and I hit my head on a step and it was three years ago and caused major damage."

He was in a coma for two weeks. Both sides of his skull were removed to allow his brain to swell. And when he awoke, he couldn't walk, keep his head up or function like the high level athlete he was just days before. It's considered a miracle he's even alive. And that's why he shares his story with other teens. On this day, he's speaking at Reed High School. He's a voice of injury prevention for the non-profit organization called ThinkFirst Northern Nevada. Sherise Smith is with the program. "Injuries in general are the number one cause of death for teenagers. It's a big issue. Car crashes, sports injuries, there's a lot of different factors that play into that." 

Smith says the use of a helmet while skiing, riding bikes or other activities would reduce the severity of the head injury by 75%. And countless lives would be saved just by buckling up in the car. It's a message being spread by ThinkFirst Northern Nevada that's being heard by local teens.  

For more information about ThinkFirst Northern Nevada go online to www.thinkfirstnevada.org or call Sherise at 775-420-8390. 

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