TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends


A Messy Kitchen
Michael Puffer (caregiver for his wife, Maria)
presented by
Donna O’Donnell Figurski


Puffer. Michael & Mari a

Maria Puffer – Brain Injury Survivor Michael Puffer – Caregiver for Maria

I came home after a long day and found what looked like a mess in the kitchen. I sat down and put my face in my hands and cried. I couldn’t believe what I came home to. I wasn’t angry, but I couldn’t stop the tears.

Twenty-three months ago, the state of the kitchen would not have been a remarkable finding. Tonight, it was truly unbelievable, and I was blown away!Messy Kitchen

Just under two years ago, I thought I had lost the most important person in my life. My loving wife, Maria Puffer, was in a horrific car accident. She suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and a spinal cord contusion, and she was in a coma at North Memorial Hospital near Minneapolis.

Ever since that day, Maria has fought to show us she is still with us and she is ever-determined to recover and get her life back. Week by week, day by day, hour by hour – she never quits, complains, or feels sorry for herself. Maria practices walking with a walker an hour a day, sometimes nearly falling asleep because she always wants to push herself. She thanks me every night for taking care of her. She shows all of us what true grit and love is.

Fruit_salad_clipartMaria asked me a few days ago where the Kitchen Aid mixer was. I told her it was in the pantry. The next day – there it was on the counter. Maria asked daughter Samantha to pick up the ingredients to make fruit salad. I told her we would make fruit salad over the weekend, but there never was time to do it.

Maria didn’t wait. She made the fruit salad by herself.

My tears were tears of joy and wonder. When she came into the kitchen, I reached out, gave her a huge hug, and said, “You are awesome!” (Maria is absolutely the strongest person I’ll ever know. I can’t believe how lucky I am to be in her life!)Man & Woman Hugging

We had dinner together and enjoyed the very best fruit salad in the world for desert.

I will try forever to be the best husband that I can be. I know I have the best wife, and she deserves the best from me.







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Comments on: "TBI Tales: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A Messy Kitchen & Fruit Salad" (10)

  1. Way to go, Maria!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendy Proctor said:

    Brought tears to my eyes, it has been shared in our group, and I know so many will so enjoy this….thank you for being the amazing husband that you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wendy Proctor, Michael Puffer is definitely a keeper. I was so touched by their story.

      Thank you for providing folks with your venue to allow for such wonderful stories to be shared.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski


  3. What a truely wonderful love story. Having a severe tbi myself, I know it is not easy for a loved one not to impatient or upset at our faults we have now. You, Michael, have gotten past this wonderfully, and you can still laugh and enjoy what each day brings. I am inspired by your actions. Congrats on the success of your marriage following such a traumatic event. You will never have a more satisfying and loving moment than you do now with your wife, Maria. Congrats again Michael.


    • Charlie, what wonderful comments you made to Michael Puffer. They were so honest and I could feel that they were heart-felt.

      Thank you, too, for you support of me and my blog.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TEARS! It is so wonderful to hear this story. ATTAGIRL Maria!!!! You have a wonderful loving husband!
    You will be fine! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lee, you understand this well, I’m sure, because you have such a loving relationship with your husband too.

      I do too and it it is so wonderful.

      Thank you for your continued support of me and my blog.

      Donna O’Donnell Figurski


  5. Ric Johnson said:

    Congratulations to both of you. Do you know there is a brain injury support group in the Courage Kenny Rehab Center in Golden Valley? Meets the 2nd Tuesday night every night, from 6:30 – 8:00pm.


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