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.

Patrick O’Neill (survivor)

O'Neill, Patrick 2I am a 42-year-old survivor of brain injury. While walking home from a high school singing function in 1972, I was struck by a drunk driver. The result was hemiparesis (paralysis or weakness of one side of the body), four brain operations at Upstate Medical Center of New York, and a plate in my head. Regardless, I graduated from Florida State University in 1976. Later I obtained my Ph.D. there too. I soon moved to Atlanta, where I earned an MBA from Georgia State University. I enjoyed a fantastic career as a corporate credit manager for the oldest bank in Georgia at that time. However, I succumbed to the residual effects of paralysis while renovating my fifth house there. I moved to my parents’ state (Florida), where my body lay paralyzed from 1984 through late 1987.

In 1987, an international team of neurosurgeons at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, removed a 10-inch-long Arnold-Chiari malformation (a structural defect in the cerebellum), 42% of my medulla oblongata (which controls autonomic functions, such as breathing, heart function, blood vessel function, digestion, sneezing, and swallowing), a brain tumor (glioblastoma), and two inches of neck vertebrae. I was given ten months to live, without hope of walking, talking, or eating. Obviously, with Mother’s loving caregiving, proper therapies, and yoga, I have survived almost 28 years after my fifth brain operation. I volunteered with “Friends of the Disabled” for fifteen years. I am currently with OASIS (Okaloosa AIDS Support and Informational Services). I was also Vice-President of “Brain Injury Connection” and editor of BrainWaves for years. My website is “Against All Odds.”  .…And that is my story!O'Neill, Patrick

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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