TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘TBI Survivors’

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Jordan Emerson

Survivors SPEAK OUT!  Jordan Emerson

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

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Jordan Emerson – Brain Injury Survivor – Race Car Driver

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

Jordan Emerson

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

Windham, Maine, USA

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

I had my brain injury at 13 years young.

4. How did your brain injury occur?dan Emerson

Jordan Emerson - Brain Injury Survivor - Race Car Driver

Jordan Emerson – Brain Injury Survivor – Race Car Driver

I was driving a fully-safety-equipped racecar.

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

When I was unconscious

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

I was given a trach. I had emergency procedures for a cracked left hip, brain stem, seizures, a crushed left arm, paralyzed vocal chords, and paralyzed stomach.

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

Jordan Emerson - Brain Injury Survivor

Jordan Emerson – Brain Injury Survivor

Yes. Almost 3 months

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 have occupational and physical therapies as an outpatient. I was also helped by a speech-language pathologist.

How long were you in rehab?

I’m still attending OT and PT as an outpatient.

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

I still have awful trouble going to the bathroom. Being in crowded areas makes me tired. (It’s “overstimulation,” but instead of overstimulation, it feels like a “draining of my energy.”)

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

My life is neither better nor worse. It’s just different.

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

I miss being able to run around outside with my dogs.

th-112. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?

I like that everybody seems to offer to help more often.

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

I dislike that I’ll be thinking so hard about something, and then, *poof* it’s gone.

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

Talking with other survivors has helped.

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

Before I developed a filter, I said things to friends, and over time, those friends disappeared.

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

Yes. I have lost friends.friends

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

My mom is my main caregiver. I’m thankful for her every day.

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

I plan to be driving, living in my own apartment, married, etc.

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.

Hard work really does pay off.

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

Jordan Emerson and Mom & Dad

Jordan Emerson – Brain Injury Survivor and Mom & Dad

I owe a lot of my journey to my loving parents – I couldn’t have done this without them. I ♡ them!
Please feel free to reach out to me (#Believe). I enjoy helping whenever I am able. Believe!

 

 

 

(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! Survivors Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for BlogSPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty Giant Steps will provide a venue for brain-injury survivors and caregivers to shout out their accomplishments of the week.

If you have an Itty-Bitty Giant Step and you would like to share it, just send an email to me at neelyf@aol.com.

If you are on Facebook, you can simply send a Private Message to me. It need only be a sentence or two. I’ll gather the accomplishments and post them with your name on my blog approximately once a week. (If you do not want your last name to be posted, please tell me in your email or Private Message.)

I hope we have millions of Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

 

Here is this week’s Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

#2 Shaw, Jenny Niday Survivor 050116

Jenny Niday Shaw – Survivor

Jenny Niday Shaw (survivor)…I am happy after three years this April. SmilesI finally smiled again – I mean a real smile. It is the simple things, folks … the simple things.

 

Viera, Meg Survivor 051716

Meg Viera – Survivor

 

 

Meg Viera (survivor)…I just got my grades back from my last college semester. I’m usually on the Dean’s List, but I took a harder class this time. Dean's List

 

My mom said I probably wouldn’t get on the Dean’s List this semester. But, I got an A in the harder class (!) and a B+ in my other one. Here I come, Dean’s List – TBI and all!

YOU did it!

Congratulations to contributors!

As I say after each post:anim0014-1_e0-1

Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” 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.

 

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photo compliments of contributor.)

On The Air: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brain Injury Radio . . . . . . . . “Another Fork in the Road” with Jessica E. Taylor – Brain Injury Survivor & Author

On The Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road”

with

Jessica E. Taylor – Brain Injury Survivor & Author

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

images-1Jessica E. Taylor learned about brain injury the hard way when she fell down a flight of concrete stairs. That event changed her life forever. Jessica had to pick up the pieces and glue them back together. She details her life with brain injury in her book, “From Tragedy to Triumph: Journey Back from the Edge.”

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Jessica E. Taylor – Brain Injury Survivor & Author

She will share her story and tell of how she advocates for brain injury survivors now.

If you missed this show with Jessica E. Taylor on “Another Fork in the Road” on February 21st, 2016, don’t fret. You can listen to the archived show here. Click the link below.

See you “On the Air!”

On The Air: Brain Injury Radio “Another Fork in the Road” with Jessica Taylor – Brain Injury Survivor & Author

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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! Guest Blogger Karen Dickerson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I Love the Person I’ve Become

I Love the Person I’ve Become

by

Karen Dickerson

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Girl Blogger cartoon_picture_of_girl_writingI had a somber moment yesterday as I, for the first time, heard my 9-1-1 call and saw photos of the scene of my accident. I didn’t know that on March 2nd, 2014, my life would be changed forever.

As all my friends are aware, I have a traumatic brain injury (TBI), a brain injury that will affect my life forever. I’ll never be the same person I once was. I still struggle daily with cognitive deficits and problems with memory, lights, sounds, fatigue, and headaches. I wrestle with irritability. Also, the left side of my body is weak. I spent the last year angry for what has happened to me. The struggles were so huge that I didn’t know how I’d ever survive daily life as a woman and single mother.

Next week, I have the opportunity to face the driver who caused this injury to my body and my life. I get the chance to tell that person everything I’ve gone through to get to where I am today. In writing my statement, I found it hard to look back and relive the hell I’ve been through and am still going through today.

Dickerson, Karen Survivor 2 120315

Karen Dickerson – TBI Survivor

However, in many ways, the accident also brought some positivity – the growth that I’ve had as a person, the strength it has given me, my faith to be stronger, and the opportunities to share my story with so many. Through the use of social media alone, I have shared my triumphs and failures all over the country.

I am trying to bring a voice to the small community in which I live, where there isn’t much help or support for this invisible injury. My brain injury has helped me to choose wisely whom I bring into my life and to let go of negative people, including those in my immediate family who did not understand or did not desire to educate themselves to help me.

Dickerson, Karen Survivor 120315 1

Karen Dickerson – TBI Survivor

I’ve asked why this had to happen to me. I thought that life was already difficult enough. It was hard to get on my feet after a tough childhood and an abusive marriage. Today, I know why. I am thankful for what I have – as little as it may be. I am especially grateful for all who I’ve worked for and fought for – my children and the loved ones close to my heart.

My accident could have been worse. My children might not have had a mother to take care of them; I would never have made new friendships and grown stronger relationships with the ones I had; and I would never have met my Okie.

I’m blessed to be here today. TBI or not, I love the person I’ve become because I’ve fought to become her.

 

Thank you, Karen Dickerson.

Disclaimer:
Any views and opinions of the Guest Blogger are purely his/her own.

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

(Photos compliments of Karen Dickerson)

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! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for BlogSPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty Giant Steps will provide a venue for brain-injury survivors and caregivers to shout out their accomplishments of the week.

If you have an Itty-Bitty Giant Step and you would like to share it, just send an email to me at neelyf@aol.com.

If you are on Facebook, you can simply send a Private Message to me. It need only be a sentence or two. I’ll gather the accomplishments and post them with your name on my blog approximately once a week. (If you do not want your last name to be posted, please tell me in your email or Private Message.)

I hope we have millions of Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

Here is this week’s Itty-Bitty GIANT Step

Dee Farrell 2 011415Dee Farrell (survivor)For the first time in a very long time, I am very proud of myself. I am two years post car accident, and I never thought it would be possible for me to ever get back on a horse after my injuries. Well, with a lot of hard work and encouragement from my family and caregivers, I recently achieved my dream of riding again. I still can’t believe it myself! I’m sure you know the roller coaster that comes with a traumatic brain injury, and there have been times I was close to just throwing the towel in because it was all too hard. For me, this is the moment when all my hard work paid off. A big “Thank You!” goes to Oliver for being a true gentleman the whole time.

YOU did it!

Congratulations to contributor!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post:anim0014-1_e0-1

Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” 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.

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury Barrett Sturgill

SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Barrett Sturgill

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!

(submitted by Barrett’s mother and caregiver, Amanda Sturgill)

 bigstock-cartoon-face-vector-people-25671746-e1348136261718We were in a motor vehicle accident on April 13, 2012. It caused Barrett to have an aneurysm and a brain hemorrhage from contrecoup (a contusion resulting from the brain contacting the skull on the sideBarrett Sturgill Survivor 0610115 opposite from where impact occurs). He was only five years old at the time.

He immediately had a frontotemporoparietal craniotomy (the frontal, temporal, and parietal bones were removed from the skull). He suffered epidural and subdural hematomas. (Both allowed the buildup of blood to impinge on the brain.) Barrett was then flown to a children’s hospital. He was in critical condition and was in the intensive care unit until May 1.

Barrett Sturgill 3 Survivor 060115On April 26, he was given a G-tube (gastric feeding tube, which allows nutrients to be introduced directly into the stomach) and trach (a small tube inserted in the trachea to keep the airway open). Barrett Sturgill 2 Survivor 060115Barrett remained in a coma until May 1. Then he only opened his eyes. We went to Cardinal Hill Rehab on May 4 and stayed there until June 30. On June 14, the trach was removed. He remained nonverbal until June 22. At that time, he also began to eat small amounts. On August 6, the feeding tube was removed.

In October, he started walking with assistance. Barrett Sturgill Survivor 060115 And his SisterNow three years later, Barrett walks, runs, talks, and eats. He has muscle weakness in his right side – he uses his leg better than his arm. Barrett is in a regular first grade with his sister, and he only goes to Special Ed for two hours – for spelling and math. He loves video games.

Disclaimer: Any views and opinions of the Contributor are purely his/her own.

(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.

SPEAK OUT! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

              SPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty GIANT Steps

Itty-Bitty GIant Steps for BlogSPEAK OUT! Itty-Bitty Giant Steps will provide a venue for brain-injury survivors and caregivers to shout out their accomplishments of the week.

If you have an Itty-Bitty Giant Step and you would like to share it, just send an email to me at donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com. If you are on Facebook, you can simply send a Private Message to me. It need only be a sentence or two. I’ll gather the accomplishments and post them with your name on my blog approximately once a week. (If you do not want your last name to be posted, please tell me in your email or Private Message.)

I hope we have millions of Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

 

Here are this week’s Itty-Bitty Giant Steps.

Cheri Richardson Hicks…My Itty-Bitty Giant Step is that I ventured away from outpatient therapy into a new program called Quest. It is a program that gets people back to work and back into the community. I really feel like this is what I need to get me to where I need to be, so it couldn’t have

Melinda's 100 piece puzzle

Melinda’s 100 piece puzzle

Melinda Murphy…Here is one for your Itty-Bitty Giant Steps. I used to be able to do 5000-piece puzzles in 2 or 3 days. I have not done any at all since the accident, until now. Four days, 2 tables, and only 100 pieces – but I did one, and I am thrilled (even if a piece was missing)!

Carmen Gaarder Kumm…Here is my Itty-Bitty Giant Step. I worked 4 1/5 hours today. I took three kids to town (20 minutes away), completed what needed to be done (I only forgot one thing, but my daughter will do that for me in the morning, as she is going anyway), picked up supper (knowing that I wouldn’t have much time once we got home), finished a Facebook page for our church, helped a bit with Vacation Bible School, picked green beans in the garden, and packed for the weekend away. I’m in bed before 10:00, and I don’t feel I overdid it…feeling good actually.

Donna O’Donnell Figurski (caregiver)…This week we have friends from Germany visiting us. They wanted to go to the Grand Canyon, which is about 4 hours from my home – too far for a day trip. Though David would have liked to go, he knew it would be too difficult for him, and he had seen it a few times before. He chose to remain home.

Caboose - haunted by ghost

Caboose – haunted by ghost

That’s where my dilemma came in. David is 9+ years out from his TBI and still deals with many issues, including balance deficits, and I have never left him alone at night. Though he is completely

able to stay at home during the day, I always worry about the night. David convinced me he would be just fine, and after much discussion and a ton of angst, I agreed to go with our friends to the canyon. I insisted that David and I be in constant cell-phone contact.

So off we went to Williams, Arizona, where I slept in a little red caboose, which is supposedly haunted. The ghost may or may not have made an appearance. The jury is still out on that one.

But the jury is in on my trip to the Grand Canyon and on David’s staying overnight by himself. He did it! I did it!

WE did it!

Congratulations to all contributors!

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

Tag Cloud

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 😊

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