Survivors SPEAK OUT! Lessia Malloy
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)
Doyline, Louisiana, USA
3. When did you have your TBI? At what age?
4. How did your TBI occur?
My TBI resulted from a motorcycle accident. I wasn’t wearing a helmet.
5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?
I don’t know. I was knocked unconscious upon impact.
6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
I had a tracheotomy. I was given CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). Then I had surgery to remove my skull plate.
7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?
Yes. I was in a coma thirty days.
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)? How long were you in rehab?
I had thirty days of rehab – both in- and outpatient.
9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your TBI (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?
I have short-term memory issues.
10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?
I’m no longer totally independent.
11. What do you miss the most from your pre-TBI life?
I miss being independent and working.
12. What do you enjoy most in your post-TBI life?
I have less stress, since I don’t take on more than I can handle.
13. What do you like least about your TBI?
I dislike that my TBI makes me second-guess myself.
14. Has anything helped you to accept your TBI?
I came to accept my TBI because I had to rebuild my life in every way.
15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
My TBI put an end to an already rocky marriage. But, I came out a winner on that.
16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
My injury has made me very wary of people. I’m not as outgoing, and I watch and listen more.
17. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?
My husband helps me.
18. What are your future plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
Maybe I’ll be working in something that fulfills me.
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.
Don’t push it. Let yourself heal. Accept what you went through. Then tackle the world. Learning stuff all over again is good for the soul in so many ways. Have fun.
20. What advice would you offer to other TBI survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Take it one day at a time. Do what you can with what you have. Work with that and build on it.
Thank you, Lessia, 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.)
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.
(Photos compliments of Lessia.)