COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A former figure skater in Colorado Springs is bringing awareness to traumatic brain injury after getting three concussions. He shared his story with KRDO NewsChannel 13's Cinthia Maldonado.
Josh Farris competed all around the world, but he admits not understanding the seriousness of concussions cost him his one shot at a big competition. Now he hopes he can help other athletes battling through the trauma.
It took Josh Farris 16 years to master figure skating.
"When I started this program [and] when my name was announced you know you get these butterflies in your stomach and you're like ok, I’m nervous but I can do this."
But in attempts to polish his skills he lost his shot at this year's Olympic Games.
"I was training quad jumps where you rotate four times in the air. I came down and did not hit my feet on the ice at all. I just landed straight on my elbow and my neck whipped backwards," causing his first concussion.
But as Josh admits he returned to the rink too soon, "Then I got two [concussions] in consecutive weeks," thinking he was okay.
"I herniated my disk between my 6th and 7th cervical spine. My eyes are damaged.”
Now, he suffers from a traumatic brain injury.
"I’m being not able to fall asleep, feeling depressed, anxiety, double vision, over stimulated, lack of identity cause I’ve got brain damage."
Erin Farris saw firsthand the battle her son was fighting.
"I’ve seen him hit his lowest low of being so depressed that he had a hard time having the desire to live."
"Concussions are a silent epidemic." Through a GoFundMe account that initially was set up to help with his therapy fund and medical expenses, “There are a lot of people suffering from it."
Josh is now using the left over donations to give back to the community.
"We are going to start a foundation for TBI victims and concussion victims in Josh's name."
Josh and his mother Erin hope this foundation helps others overcome the same challenge he's facing.
Click on Josh's Foundation to donate.