TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!


bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718It can happen to anyone, anytime, . . . and anywhere.

The Brain Trauma Foundation states that there are 5.3 million people in the United States living with some form of brain injury.

On “Faces of Brain Injury,” you will meet survivors living with brain injury. I hope that their stories will help you to understand the serious implications and complications of brain injury.

The stories on SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury are published with the permission of the survivor or designated caregiver.

If you would like your story to be published, please send a short account and two photos to me at neelyf@aol.com. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury – one view at a time.

Aaron Avila (survivor)

Avila, Aaron SurvivorFive years ago, at age 47, I had a major stroke. I had been the type of guy who could do about anything he set his mind to. Cutting down an 80-foot tree…no problem! Designing a rain harvesting system…no problem! Building a 100,000-gallon water storage tank…no problem! Running and owning my own companies (National Storage Tank and Rain Harvesting Solutions, Inc.) for over twelve years…done! Then the course of my life changed forever. I was doing the day-to-day grind. I truly believe that there was only one thing that could stop me dead in my tracks – my stroke and near-death experience. This event in my life forced me to fully re-evaluate all the things that I, like most everyone, took for granted – life itself, walking, talking, feeling one with my body, family, friends, etc.

I truly believe that the stroke has given me a SECOND CHANCE. I would come to believe Avila, Aaron 2wholeheartedly that this was a type of gift. Yes, this stroke is the hardest thing I would ever face. But, I was alive! I was given a gift that the majority of people on this planet don’t have – the chance to live two lives in this one. I was given a second chance to learn not to take it all for granted. In the beginning, part of me was angry and suicidal. I felt ripped off, but what I have learned since my stroke makes it all worth it. I should have a big sign on my forehead – “Under Major Reconstruction.” I would have to say, and I know with all my heart, that if it were not for my incredible family and friends anthis_body_is_under_going_major_re_construction_tshirt-p235029087676528180yenb_400d their support, I’d be in a much different place. Tears of thankfulness run down my face. Go stroke survivors!


Any views and opinions of the Contributor are purely his/her own.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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