SPEAK OUT! – Jayson Phillips
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)
Houston, Texas, USA
3. When did you have your TBI? At what age?
2009 I was 17.
4. How did your TBI occur?
My head was run over by a car.
5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?
6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
A bone flap was removed, and I had brain surgery.
7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?
Yes. About a month
8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient or outpatient and occupational and/or physical and/or speech and/or other)?
Yes. I had physical, occupational, and speech therapies.
How long were you in rehab?
I was in and out of therapy, but altogether I had therapy over a year.
9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your TBI (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?
Left-side weakness, irritation, depression, left neglect
10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?
I have a new perspective on life, and I don’t take anything for granted anymore.
11. What do you miss the most from your pre-TBI life?
12. What do you enjoy most in your post-TBI life?
My new attitude and the support of friends
13. What do you like least about your TBI?
My physical limitations
14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?
I’ve been helped by personal-development videos, music, poetry, and writing.
15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
Yes. It has strengthened my relationship with my mom and dad.
16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?
My mother and grandmother are my main caregivers. Yes, I understand what they do.
18. What are your future plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
I hope to have a large business. I also hope to contribute my time towards helping TBI survivors and people in general better their lives. In ten years, I expect to be retired, to be living on my own, and to be going to different places to speak about TBI awareness.
19. Are you able to provide a helpful hint that may have taken you a long time to learn, but which you wished you had known earlier? If so, please state what it is to potentially help other TBI survivors with your specific kind of TBI.
No matter what challenges or adversities you may come across, keep a useful and positive attitude. Always find the positives in any situation.
20. What advice would you offer to other TBI survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Attitude is everything. It can be the difference between a healthy, speedy recovery and a stressful, slow recovery.
Thank you, Jayson, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.
(Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.)
(Photos compliments of Jayson.)
If you would like to be a part of the SPEAK OUT! project, please go to TBI Survivor Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.