TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Survivors SPEAK OUT!    Kenneth Powell

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

 

Kenneth Powell - Brain Injury Survivor

Kenneth Powell – Brain Injury Survivor

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Kenneth Powell

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)

Saint Louis, Missouri, USA

3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?

2010     I was 42 years of age.

4. How did your brain injury occur?

I’ve had three hemorrhagic strokes on the lower left side of my brain.

5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?

I fell out of bed after trying to stand up. My (then) girlfriend found me.

6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?

The first stroke occurred on April 30, 2010. I knew my name, where I was, and what I was told had happened. Immediately after sleeping that night, the second stroke occurred. I was put into a coma for the next 30 days.

7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?

Yes. 30 days

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 occupational, physical, and speech therapies as an inpatient and an outpatient.

9. How long were you in rehab?

One month

10. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury
(e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?

Aphasia, right-side paralysis, complete amnesia

Kenneth Powell - Brain Injury Survivor

Kenneth Powell – Brain Injury Survivor

11. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?

My life is challenging.

12. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?

I miss running and normal kidney function.

13. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?

I enjoy sharing my experience with others and proving mind over matter.

14. What do you like least about your brain injury?

I dislike people’s perceptions of “the disabled.”

15. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?

My faith has helped me accept my brain injury.

16. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?

The perceptions about “disabled” or “handicapped” individuals have been a hindrance. Romantic relationships are nearly nonexistent.

17. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?

Perceptions about the disabled greatly affect my life.

18. Who is your main caregiver? Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?

I am my own main caregiver. I am helped occasionally by my sister.

Kenneth Powell - Brain Injury Survivor

Kenneth Powell – Brain Injury Survivor

19. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?

I hope to be back to work.

20. 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? If so, please state what it is to potentially help other survivors with your specific kind of brain injury.

Ask as many questions as possible. Know and interact with as many survivors as you can (via websites, support-groups, etc.).

What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?

Personal and spiritual FAITH is essential to the day-to-day survival of this injury.

 

(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 SPEAK OUT! Caregiver Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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Comments on: "Survivors SPEAK OUT! Kenneth Powell" (6)

  1. Kenneth,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I agree with you that reaching out to other survivors is extremely important. I have made friends all over the USA and even into Great Britain. Everyone’s story is vitally important.

    Yes–the perception of the handicapped and the disabled is very daunting. I have had to fight hard for any ADA benefits that I have needed and getting disability was very difficult for me. I was fortunate in not having visible signs, although my short term memory issues, the cognitive issues and the aphasia make things quite challenging.

    I hope you have some friends or belong to a good BI group–there are many online. The only people who truly understand BI are those with BI, although many caregivers and professionals have the idea. Keep asking questions and keep learning!

    Never give up, never quit.

    My stroke was in 2000. I was 37.
    Thanks again.
    Sue

    Like

    • Sue,
      Thank you for reading and subscribing to my blog. I really appreciate your encouraging message to Kenneth. You are right – only folks living with BI can understand BI – and in particular, their own BI since all are different. we, caregivers, do our best to help out.

      I received your very thoughtful email and will respond as soon as I can. I totally understand your message and want to respond properly. I have some deadlines I must meet.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski
      survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com
      donnaodonnellfigurski.com

      Like

  2. lee staniland said:

    Amen to that!!!!! A true survivor!

    Like

  3. Way to go Kenneth, on your outlook. We are both about the same age, I am 49 now. I also grew up close to St Louis, about 30 miles south. I had both a tbi and stroke in an auto accident in Nov, 1985, I was 18. I was in a 50 day coma and was in a hospital for almost 11 months straight afterward. I did make it back to school and struggled to get 2 degrees at a junior college and work for 15 yrs after that.

    I know with your drive and ambition that you will accomplish many, if not all of your plans. Stay positive and don’t let others get you down. Congrats on your success so far.

    Like

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