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Monday, September 24, 2012
Banasiewicz moved to TBI rehab

By Brian Tunney
ESPN.com

Brett Banasiewicz, seen here in practice at XG17, was moved to a TBI rehab facility in Atlanta, Ga. earlier today.

In December of 2011, Aaron Cooke of the Athlete Recovery Fund announced that they had purchased 100 MedjetAssist memberships available to BMXers, FMXers and skateboarders in the event of a high-profile injury in which an injured athlete needed to be transported via jet for medical treatment.

The MedjetAssist memberships were available on a first-come, first-serve basis and arranged medical transfer to the hospital of the member's choice if a Medjet member became hospitalized more than 150 miles from home and met transport criteria.

DK pro Brett Banasiewciz was among the athletes that signed up for the program. The 17-year-old was enjoying a banner year in BMX Park, winning his first Dew Tour Cup in mid-August.

A week later, on August 23, Banasiewicz crashed during practice on a 720 at the LXVI BMX Invitational in Virginia Beach, Va. He was placed in a medically induced coma to control bleeding and swelling on his brain, and remained unconscious for 15 days.

Banasiewicz regained consciousness on September 7, and in the time since, has started to take the necessary steps towards recovery. But first, he needed to be moved to acute inpatient traumatic brain injury rehabilitation.

Brett's private jet, destined for Atlanta, Ga.

With the help of the Athlete Recovery Fund, a facility was located in Atlanta, Ga. And because Banasiewicz had purchased a MedjetAssist membership, his air transportation to the facility was completely covered.

Earlier today, Brett and his father Bill Banasiewicz left Virginia Beach bound for Atlanta on a private jet to begin a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks of intensive therapy. Brett's friend and care giver Trish Bare Grounds followed by car and is due to arrive later on today.

This is the next crucial step to healing and getting his life back," said Bare Grounds. "Brett will be at the rehab facility for the next few months, getting stronger both physically and mentally."

Banasiewicz was due to start his senior year Washington High School in South Bend, Ind. earlier this month. With the help of tutoring, he is expected to graduate in June.