Survivors SPEAK OUT! Jessica Taylor
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
Jessica Elizabeth Taylor
2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?
4. How did your brain injury occur?
A fall down a steep staircase head first into a steel-plated door
5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?
My husband knew I was sick, but he did not know I had a brain injury. (I was not told that I had brain injury until six years after the injury!) I didn’t know who I was, who my husband was, and who my children were. I became a child again. I had to relearn everything. My personality was greatly changed. My balance was off for some time. My left hand curled inwards, but I trained it to straighten. I also had contusion of the back, a hemorrhage behind my right eye, and scalp laceration.
6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?
I was in a semi-coma for several weeks.
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)?
I had rehab only in a psychiatric ward as a day patient for some months at a time in two different countries. I trained myself by learning again and also by becoming positive and never giving in to depression or my disabilities.
How long were you in rehab?
I had no proper rehab. I was just given many IQ tests and psychiatric care. This did not help matters!
9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?
Recent recall was and still is a problem. I cannot take on too may projects at a time. I have to avoid stress at all times.
10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?
My life has been enhanced through training my dormant brain neurons myself and by having spiritual knowledge. As a result, I am a happier person.
11. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?
I do not look back.
12. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?
I enjoy being who I am.
13. What do you like least about your brain injury?
I don’t think about the past. I just put up with my disability as a part of my life.
14. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?
15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
I had distant relationships with my husband and my children, as well as with all who knew me.
16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
My new and holistic view of life has changed all that I do and think.
17. Who is your main caregiver?
Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?
I know what caregivers should be aware of with regards to brain injury.
18. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
I hope to keep sharing my knowledge through the publication of my books and by giving talks.
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?
I only wish that I had been taught by specialists how to retrain my brain in the early years, as opposed to doing so later.
If so, please state what it is to potentially help other survivors with your specific kind of brain injury.
Know that we can train and activate dormant neurons through studying a subject that is of interest. This has to be done frequently.
20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
My advice is to study spirituality and to read as much as possible about the subject. I do not mean in the religious sense – study people like Deepak Chopra and watch Super Soul Sunday on TV. Stay positive and learn not to give in to negative thoughts. Try hard to rise above fear, jealousy, hatred, greed, envy, etc., and your vibration will increase in frequency. All this happened to me through my self-rehab.
To learn more about Jessica Taylor, click on the following links.
(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.
(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)
(Photos compliments of contributor.)
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