Survivors SPEAK OUT! . . . John Bradshaw
by Donna O’Donnell Figurski
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)
Apple Valley, California, USA
3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?
July 4, 2012 Age 56
4. How did your brain injury occur?
5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?
The impact was immediately known to be serious. I was in a coma at the scene of the accident.
6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
I was air-lifted from the scene of the accident. My condition was assessed. I had CT (computerized tomography) and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, and I was put on a respirator.
7. Were you in a coma?
If so, how long?
Deep coma: 1 week; sleep coma: 3 weeks
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 my therapies – occupational, physical, and speech – both as an inpatient and as an outpatient.
How long were you in rehab?
My therapies basically lasted 1+ years. I still do physical therapy every year to help with balance and strengthening.
9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?
I have problems with balance and perception. I have a personality disorder, a mood disorder, memory-loss, and nervousness, to name a few issues.
10. How has your life changed?
There is no normal. Every day is different.
Is it better?
Is it worse?
11. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?
In general, I miss knowing where I am, my quick train-of-thought, and my memory.
12. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?
I enjoy the people I have connected with through support groups and rehab.
13. What do you like least about your brain injury?
I dislike not knowing things in general and not understanding why I am like this.
14. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?
Yes. Jesus sent me back to let everyone know he and his father are alive. They love us, so it doesn’t matter what church you go to. They want to see us come home.
15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
Yes. I find it very difficult to interact with others now.
17. Who is your main caregiver?
Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?
18. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
I have no plans for the future. I take it one day at a time.
19. 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.
20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Life will never be the same. Take it one day at a time, and believe it does get better with time. My wife’s favorite reminder motto is: “I am not what has happened to me … I am what I choose to become.”
(Photos compliments of contributor.)
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