SMACKOVER, Ark. (KTHV) - Shaun Best takes nothing for granted. It's taken years for the Smackover man to learn to speak, walk and use his hands. An ATV accident in 1977 changed the course of his life dramatically. Best wanted to join the Marines, but now keeping his balance is a struggle.
"During the coma, I was like this for three months, and no movement whatsoever. Doctors said I would never use my hands, or my arms, or my legs much less my brain. They said I needed to plan on being in an institution," recalled Best.
Best was not wearing a helmet when a car ran off the road and hit him while he was riding a three-wheeler. Doctors thought Best should be permanently institutionalized, his father thought otherwise.
Best now speaks at schools about the safety of helmets, and Doctor Randy Maddox at UAMS said there couldn't be a better audience.
"The injuries are mostly pediatric, young men--16, 18-year-old, 20-year-old kids--and it has to do with having such a high powered machine. You're sitting right on top of a motor, and the design is a narrow wheeled base, high centered, so it's easy to turn over," said Maddox.
Doctor Maddox said a helmet can make a significant difference in the severity of a brain injury. For Best, the responsibility falls on parents.