SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Alexis Turcotte
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!
It 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to publish your story and raise awareness for Brain Injury.
So many people ask me how I can be so positive after all that I’ve been through. Well, the answer is that I’m not going to dwell on the crash. I don’t say, “I almost died, so I’m going to sit here and be worthless.” Instead, I’m going to show that I’m better than all the labels I’ve been given. So many people have said, “Oh well, since your hospital papers say … then you can’t do ….” My response has always been, “Can I please prove you wrong before you say I can’t do it?” I make an effort to change the negative to a positive. Why? Because there’s so much to be positive about – so much to be grateful for.
For crying out loud, I was given a second chance to live! The crash happened two days after my birthday. (One photo is from my birthday. I’m uninjured. The other is of me in the hospital in a coma.) I was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. The firefighters had to cut the door off to get to me, since I was unconscious at the scene. My skull was fractured in two places; my left foot was shattered; my left leg was broken in half (the bone was sticking out); and my nose, jaw, left shoulder, and pelvis were broken. The firefighters were told that I wouldn’t make it. The crash happened September 20, 2014. I awakened from the coma in late October, and I left the hospital on December 4.
I was told by doctors not to return to school, but I wanted to go back. I did return on January 5. I continued my courses, including my college-prep course and my two AP (advanced placement) courses. I earned As in all but one of my courses. I was also told that I wouldn’t graduate on time, but I pushed myself to do so with hours of online schooling to make up for the semester of school I missed. I wanted to show that, just because I have a label, I’m not a nothing.
I am good now. I’m still in pain due to the screws restricting my foot, but soon my doctor will remove them. Then I should be able to work out and run again. I also want to return to my team in girls’ flag football. (My coach will only allow me to play if I get written consent from my doctor and a parent. My doctor said I should be OK to play in six months.)
(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)
(Photos compliments of contributor.)
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