TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury Beth Kidd Koziol



Donna O’Donnell Figurski



Beth Kidd Koziol

Beth Kidd Koziol – Survivor

My brain injury happened in 2005 from being a passenger on the back of a motorcycle. I had a traumatic brain injury (TBI)/closed-head brain bleed, a fractured clavicle, five fractured ribs, a lung contusion, many fractures in my left hand, including a fractured scaphoid bone. (I was told that, if the blood supply could not get to it, I would lose the use of my hand. Thank God, it healed!) I also had a badly fractured pelvis and several torn ligaments in my left shoulder. I was airlifted to a trauma unit, where I stayed for three days. I was then transferred to a rehab hospital for about two months. There I got extensive occupational, physical, and speech therapies. I had a neuropsychologist, a neurologist, an orthopedic specialist, and a pain-control specialist. After I left the rehab hospital (in a wheelchair), I visited three times a week for an additional three to six months. I had to learn how to eat, swallow, talk, and walk. I had taste and smell issues with food, plus I couldn’t swallow normal foods. I got dizzy when I moved my head. It was determined that I had shattered microscopic bones in my left ear (the side of all my injuries). After about three weeks of physical therapy, I had a treatment that corrected that problem and reset those little microscopic bones.

I left the rehab hospital in a wheelchair. It took me another three to four months before I could walk with a walker and then with a cane. Now I use nothing. After six to nine months of continued outpatient sessions of physical therapy and occupational therapy, I was called “Wonder Woman” and “Miracle Child” because no one knew how determined I was in my recovery. I was my own caregiver because I was 3,000 miles away from family. Rather than alarm them, I did not tell them of my accident until I was well enough to travel back to the East Coast and tell them in person, so they could see that I was OK on the outside. My family still doesn’t understand the damage and changes on the inside that I endure daily. I have short-term memory problems, I can no longer multitask, and I have to talk in detail as if I were writing a book or describing a picture. I’m told I talk too much; that hurts. If I am doing anything, including talking, and I am interrupted, I cannot remember what it was that I was going to say or do. This is commonly the new normal for many brain injury survivors.

Beth Kidd Koziol 2 survivor 051616

Beth Kidd Koziol – Survivor

The best thing I can suggest is to find materials – books to read to get informed or educated and websites that help you understand what a TBI-person goes through. It helps the survivor when you understand and are patient with him or her. After ten years for me, I still find areas in which I am still healing.
My motto is “Never Give Up!” [smile emoticon]


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Comments on: "SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury Beth Kidd Koziol (survivor)" (6)

  1. Robert Demichelis II said:

    Thank you, Beth for sharing your story. You were incredibly brave to withhold th accident details from your family. If you fiound a environment and caregivers tht were supportive in your local community, and it sounds like you mudt have, you were truly blessed!
    Was there anything in particular you can share tht “kept you focused” on your recovery and beyond?


  2. Thank you Beth, for sharing your story. Your recovery was similar to mine with the learning to swallow, speak, remember, walk, use arms, etc. The head injury makes you a baby again. This time, things are far harder to learn. It has been over 30 years for me, and I am still learning. I was only 18 years old at the time, so learning these things were easier they said. Please read my story in details about me on FB, I hope it encourages you. Good luck in your recovery.


  3. Thank you for sharing
    My brain injury story does not have all those issues. It was a doctor’s mistake with several misdiagnosis but the result is the same. Fighting to get better; fighting alone. I believe you must have had good insurance with job to continue so much therapy.
    Do not ask I did not sue and could not due to the issues that was involved. I lost my job even though there was long term care for me at Siemens but in GA you can be fired for nothing; especially an illness of cost. I am on disability after 40 years of work.
    Now, I want to go to intake rehab. There is a program that I could be qualified for but the insurance (my husband’s he married me thinking as I would be cured completely)
    I was in my first coma 2 months ago. It comes with the real illness I had hemiplegic migraine.
    Well, we started a logo and I have a blog but I have not gotten as far as I wished. The logo is for Gemassist Brain Awareness. Meaning all brain and spinal illness require life long physical therapy. There are memory? Walking? Speech? Aphasia? Talk too much – I know that one:-) Etc effects that continue.
    I am asking for help to expand this due to so many people lack Continued money resources. It by now should be as big as cure for breast cancer but what can I say.
    I writing to ask – how can we make this happen? So many people need help! There are various organizations but none focus on one united rehabilitation resource for research and help for so many people.
    Thank you for sharing and if you have ideas
    I can not do it on my


    • Hi Deborah Marie,

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog and on commenting on Beth’s article.

      I think that brain injury is in the infancy of its research – much like cancer was in the early 60s with cancer. Hopefully progress will go faster.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski


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