TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury –

Amber Baxley (caregiver for her two-year-old daughter, Evonia)



Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 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.




Evonia – Brain Injury Survivor

(Note: Today, May 19th, 2016 marks Evonia’s first anniversary of her brain injury. She has a long road ahead, but she has a very loving and supportive mother who will help her through)

Baxley, Amber 2 Caregiver of Evonia

Amber Baxley – Mother of Evonia – Survivor

I’m feeling emotional. Today is the one-year anniversary of my daughter’s brain injury. (My daughter, Evonia, will be three next month.) Evonia’s life was forever changed a year ago today. At 3:00 pm on May 19th, 2015, my now two-year-old daughter was shaken and got her traumatic brain injury (TBI). There is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I could go back to that day and stop it from happening. I made a huge mistake that day. I chose to leave my daughter and her big brother with a man I thought I could trust – a man I thought loved his family, especially his children, more than anything in the world. Man, was I wrong! I wish I had taken my children with me. That day, not only did my daughter’s life forever change, but also I learned that you cannot always trust those who are supposed to be the ones you can trust.

Baxley, Amber 2 Caregiver of Evonia 3

Evonia – Brain Injury Survivor

Evonia spent three weeks in a coma fighting for her life because of him. She spent three months in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit trying to recover some. My daughter had bleeding of the brain caused by her having been shaken. The blood tried to clot and caused a stroke. As of now, my little girl has had a total of five brain surgeries. She’s also had surgery to place a feeding tube into her stomach and another to remove it. Evonia will likely need to have other surgeries as she gets older. Before everything happened, Evonia was a bright, bubbly little girl – full of life. Because she was always exploring, she was always getting into things. Evonia was perfectly healthy. Now she has to fight to regain every milestone she had already surpassed.

Baxley, Amber Caregiver of Evonia 1

Evonia – Brain Injury Survivor

I so wish I could go back and do that day over again. She would have never had to go through this. If I could, I would do it in a heart beat.


(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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Comments on: "SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury – Evonia with her Mom, Amber Baxley" (6)

  1. Beautiful baby girl! My head injury was whiplash from a car accident 30 years ago when I was 18 yrs old, shaken adult syndrome. Your baby has a great chance to succeed in life! The younger this occurs in life, the easier it becomes to adapt. Have great luck with your baby girl Amber.


  2. I am so very sorry to hear about your daughter’s injury. My niece (through adoption) also suffered a brain injury from a skull fracture when she was just days old. She’s now five and while she still has a lot of residuals, her progress has been nothing short of miraculous after she was taken out of the ICU. I wish you and your daughter the best – she’s got a great champion in her mom!

    PS – today is also the one year anniversary of my brain injury so I felt a connection when I read your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer, what a nice comment for Amber and Evonia! Best wishes for your recovery, too Jennifer. I can understand your connection with Evonia.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I know this family personally. Evonia is a beautiful little girl!. Love you Amber!


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