TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘Faces of Brain Injury’

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . Shauna Farmer

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury Shauna Farmer (survivor)

presented

by

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.

Shauna Farmer (survivor)

Shauna Farmer 2 Survivor 032417I rolled a 4-wheeler. My head hit a tree (we think), and I was not wearing a helmet. I kept rolling, ensuing broken bones – ribs, clavicle, and three vertebrae in my back. The TBI (traumatic brain injury) I sustained is that of “shaken-baby syndrome,” aka “diffuse axonal injury” (damage to neuron connections over a widespread area). The prognosis was that I wouldn’t walk, talk, or even wake up. But, I walked out of the rehab hospital five weeks later. Unassisted, thank you very much! I am hoping to be able to drive soon. th

This journey of TBI is a long and arduous one. It’s a little bit easier if you have people who know firsthand what you are dealing with. So, keep on swimming, Gladiators! You got this.

 

Thank you Shauna Farmer for sharing your story.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

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SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . . Natalie Collins (survivor)

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Natalie Collins (survivor)

presented

by

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.

Natalie Collins - Brain Injury Survivor

Natalie Collins – Brain Injury Survivor

Natalie Collins (survivor)

I am officially two years away from the day of my car wreck. My “new birthday” was a few weeks ago. So much has changed in my life. I see life so differently than most people. I know what it’s like to face death. That changes who you are. Not only do I have memory problems, trip all the time, have constant headaches, and have less proficient reading and comprehension skills, but also emotionally I’m a different person. I’m less tolerant of things that don’t make me happy. There’s a dark side as well. Total recovery isn’t ever expected to happen. I’ve lost many friends, found out who my real friends are, and have been in roseneed more times than not. (I try to do things on my own, but I have accepted that I need assistance with some things. I attempt to hide that part of this traumatic change in my “new” life.) I understand life isn’t always pleasant. It’s “a bunch of roses,” and roses have thorns. I get stuck many times, but I simply walk away. This is part of the change. Overall, I’m just me.

Thank you Natalie Collins for sharing your story.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

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SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . . . . Terry Davis (survivor)

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury –  Terry Davis (survivor)

presented

by

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.

 

terry-davis-1

Terry Davis – Brain Injury Survivor

Terry Davis (survivor)

I have a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle accident back in 2006. I’ve been thinking about what I went through during my recovery. I was taken to the Center for Neuro Skills located in Bakersfield, California for six months. I went through some intense exercises to get back my memory and my cognitive thinking. I was totally delusional and made things up that were total fabrications. Anyway, I finally started coming back to reality, and in recognizing that I had recovered, they released me to back to the world I used to know. It was very hard. It’s been ten years since then, and I can honestly say that I’m doing much better now.

terry-davis

Terry Davis – Brain Injury Survivor

I’m slowly realizing who I used to be and what I agreed with and had opinions about. My psychologist told me to forget the “old” Terry and find out who the “new” Terry is and improve on that. It made life so much easier.

 

Thank you Terry Davis for sharing your story.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it intact with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it intact with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

 

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . . Paige Matis (caregiver for her boyfriend, Bryan Carpenter)

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury

Paige Matis (caregiver for her boyfriend, Bryan Carpenter)

presented

by

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.

 

Bryan Carpenter 1

Bryan Carpenter – Survivor & Marine

In honor of this recent Memorial Day, I want tell you about my Marine and my hero – and my better half, Bryan.

Bryan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2004. He went to fight for our country in the war in Iraq in 2006. Luckily, that year he survived not one, but two IEDs (improvised explosive devices often used as roadside bombs).

In the second incident, Bryan was the driver of the Humvee he was in. He suffered the worst injuries of the four Marines involved in the explosion. Bryan was knocked unconscious from the impact of the bomb. In the field, a military doctor did an emergency tracheotomy, but he nicked Bryan’s artery. Bryan also had a shattered pelvis, which cut his abdomen and caused him to bleed internally. Bryan only had moments to live. He underwent a transfusion with six units of blood. Nobody thought Bryan would make it out of his medically induced coma.

Bryan Carpenter 5 Survivor

Bryan Carpenter – Survivor

Two and a half weeks later, Bryan woke up. He was told by doctors that his dream of serving in the military as his lifelong career was over. The chances of Bryan’s ever walking “normally” again were close to zero. He was also told that he would suffer from this explosion for the rest of his life. Bryan said his dreams literally shattered right before his eyes.

Bryan never gave up. He was determined to beat the odds the doctors gave him. So far, he has done his best to achieve that goal. I know he still struggles every day with his PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), his traumatic brain injury, and the pain from his physical injuries. But, he still pushes forward. Bryan learned to walk again on his own. He has dedicated his life to physical therapy, and he never misses a day at the gym. After the incident, Bryan was a 120-pound man and was barely able to stand on his own two feet. He is currently walking independently, and he weighs 230 pounds (all healthy body mass and muscle).

Bryan Carpenter 2

Bryan Carpenter – Survivor

Bryan strives every day to help others. He has been an inspirational speaker, speaking to school-shooting victims, middle-school students, open events, etc. He is a gym trainer and an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) coach. He was a bouncer at night clubs; he went to the Fire Academy; he threw out the ceremonial Opening Pitch in 2012 for the Cleveland Indians; he was even the Grand Marshall in his hometown parade. I know Bryan tries to accomplish everything he puts his mind to, especially when he knows that it will benefit someone. He is trying his hardest to help people achieve their goals after suffering pain like the pain he has gone through. Although he may struggle with the effects of his injuries from the explosion, he never lets them limit him.

Bryan Carpenter 3

Bryan Carpenter – Survivor

Bryan has put all his focus and attention into his new dream and reality – his book. He wrote the book not only as therapy, but also to inspire others that the unbelievable is always possible. In his book, Bryan talks about his dream to be in the military – from when he enlisted and went through boot camp to being deployed and injured. He has written about his recovery and the inspirational things he has done with his life as of now.

Holidays, like Memorial Day, remind me of what Bryan has overcome. Thankfully, and miraculously, he has beaten death. He has gone on to beat the odds. He wrote a book on his recovery to continue to serve and better his country.

 

Bryan Carpenter 4

Bryan Carpenter – Survivor

Many people have paid the ultimate price in the military. Those men and women will never be forgotten. … I am very thankful to have the chance to hug my Miracle a little tighter and a little longer on Memorial Day.

 

To learn more about Bryan Carpenter, please visit his website, Battle After Iraq.

You can also see Bryan’s book about his recovery. “Never Ending Battle After Iraq: A Marine’s Road to Recovery.”

 

Thank you to Paige Matis for sharing this story about her boyfriend, Bryan.

 

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it intact with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it intact with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

 

 

 

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury – Evonia with her Mom, Amber Baxley

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury –

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

presented

by

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

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.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it intact with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it intact with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury Charles Ross

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury Charles Ross  (survivor)

presented by

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.

 

Charles Ross (survivor)

Ross Jr., Charles Survivor 112415 copy

Charles Ross Jr. – Brain Injury Survivor

It has been just over thirty years since I had my traumatic brain injury (TBI) in November 1985. I remember nothing of the accident at all. What I say of the accident is what I learned after the fact. I had the paddles put on me before I got on the helicopter to fly to the larger hospital in St. Louis. The doctors even told my parents they were removing me from Intensive Care to make room for someone who might live. I was in a coma for fifty days. I spent over ten months in the hospital. I was in a wheelchair for one and a half years. And, I had seven summers of surgery to make it to where I can now walk with a cane.

I have severe memory problems. My short-term memory was, and still is, bad. I had been having what I called “spells,” during which I would get a feeling like a chill in my spine. My parents noticed the staring while I was in the hospital. The doctors took me off seizure medicine because they did not believe I was having seizures. I know those spells increased in frequency after that. I could go days with no spells, but other days, I could have hundreds. They usually seemed to last a few seconds, but Mom thought they sometimes lasted longer.

As the spells increased, the feelings I had changed too. I began to notice a feeling like I needed to have a bowel movement, but I never did that, I remember. I would get extremely hot, and sometimes the sweat would just pour out of me for a few seconds. Mainly at night, I would wake with a spell and have a horrible taste in my mouth. After I got my license back, I sometimes had these spells while I was driving. I could have them in class or while I was watching TV or walking or sleeping – it did not matter. I never noticed anything that triggered them. Four years after the accident, in my sleep on New Year’s Eve night 1989, I had a tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizure. It was determined that the “spells” were petit mal seizures. Treatments finally began for traumatically incurred epilepsy, which the doctor finally said I had.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After I started on medication, the spells decreased dramatically. I would still have one, and my neurologist would increase my dose. That helped for some time, but the spells never stopped completely. Even though I had severe memory and physical problems along with the seizures, I managed to get two Associate Degrees over nine years. However, because of my memory problems, I failed to get my Bachelor’s Degree. I started working with my last degree, but the stress was too powerful to maintain the job. I had many jobs though, mainly contract jobs without benefits.

I began to have blank spells. Maybe I had them before, but I never remembered them or realized it. Why I knew I had them was because I was driving again and I would have an accident in which I hit someone in the back end. I would come out of any blank spell immediately, but I never remembered what had happened, other than that I hit someone. I figured that they hit the brakes quickly in rush-hour traffic and I could not stop.

Over the years, I would have an accident every year or two. Finally, I realized that, before each accident, I had that strange feeling also. So, then I knew what the real cause of the accidents was. After fifteen years of work, I lost my job. I moved in with my parents again. The new neurologist started me on a second medication, and that helped. It did not stop the spells though.

Ross, Charles Survivor

Charles Ross Jr. – Brain Injury Survivor

I moved again and got another neurologist. She put me on two more medicines. One was the same brand, just a different strength. That medicine with such a heavy dosage made me have mood swings sometimes. Altogether, it was over twenty-two years after treatment began and twenty-seven years after the accident before the right mixture was found and I felt in control again. I moved back in with my parents again in late 2014. I helped my parents the best I could with my three hospital stays and two operations. I drove my dad for cancer treatments before his death in September 2015. I am with my mom now. We help each other during the grieving process.

I hope my story serves as a source of strength, encouragement, and determination for others with TBIs to never give up. I was never supposed to live! If I did, they said I would be no more than a being in a chair, unable to do anything for myself.

Never Give UpI am writing my story, I drive, I went to college, I got two Associate degrees, and I worked for fifteen years. There is so much more, but anyone who reads this story should know that anything is possible. You may not accomplish as much as I did, or you may accomplish more. Just know that you should never give up on yourself. Feel proud of your body. If they had been in your shoes, they could never have done what you did, and that is to survive! Be proud!

 

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it intact with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it intact with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

 

 

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Faces of Brain Injury . . . . . Jen Swartz

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Jen Swartz

presented by

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.

Jen Swartz (survivor)

Jen Swartz Survivor

Jen Swartz

One incredible fact that I have learned after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is that really simple things in life bring me happiness. I

Jen Swartz 2

Jen Swartz

don’t require spending tons of money on a house, on a car, or on an extraordinarily expensive vacation to find happiness. Being with my awesome friends or my family or enjoying the smaller things in life really brings so much joy to my heart. Because I survived something that could have easily taken my life, I know I still have purpose. As do all of you!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of contributor.)

As I say after each post: Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Commentanim0014-1_e0-1 below this post.

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

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No memory of the day that changed my life

My name is Michelle Munt and this is my story about surviving a brain injury and what I continue to learn about it. This is for other survivors and their loved ones, but also to raise awareness of what can happen to those in an accident. This invisible injury too often goes undiagnosed and it can be difficult to find information about it. I will talk about things that have helped me as I continue to recover and invite others to see if it works for them too.

Everything and nothing. GM1123 😊

Bienvenue. I’m thinking this is the spot where I am to write a witty, flowery personal section that pulls you in......I got nuthin’

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