The year was 1990, I was practicing barrel racing and the horse I was riding slipped onto her side. Upon impact with the ground, I was immediately unconscious.
This was before the internet or even much knowledge at all about the workings of the brain. I think that worked out to my benefit.
Five weeks on life support, remained comatose for two and a half months and spent a month and a half in full-time, hardcore therapy. My Mom was by my side the whole time, she is why I am.
When I slowly emerged into consciousness my dream world and reality were muddled. Reality hit home when I wasn’t able to move in the physical world, no feeling in my legs, my arms were mostly out of commission – to save getting into explanations. I was in a foreign place, had no idea how I got there, and I had all these people in medical attire bossing me around and asking me ridiculous questions. Had I been introduced to the idea of alien abductions previously I might have been more suspicious of the whole ordeal.
With every therapy session, be it speech, occupational, or physio, I would be pushed to inevitable failure. Everybody around me confirmed this was how I would regain mobility and get back to life.
Looking back, this gave me a belief that I had to do until I could do no more if I wanted to achieve what was important to me. Not a bad belief but in no way the best.
The doctor that oversaw my case told my parents early on that I would never walk again. Before I left the hospital I was sure to walk by that doc, more for my own satisfaction than anything.
I was only able to get one photo but it is a very important one. This picture of me is about one month into my supposed 18 month recovery. That set of parallel bars signify a liferegained. Forever grateful. 🙂
The town where I lived planned a Welcome Home thing where we got a police escort through Main Street. The community lined either side, smiling and waving. Yellow ribbons were on trees and poles everywhere in reference to the old song, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree https://youtu.be/0GDzPyHspSs. The song was blaring through town, it may have been coming from the cop car in front of us.
I really do count my blessings daily for the tools necessary for my own recovery – Love, support, role models, and quite important for myself, animals.
Four months after I was admitted to the hospital with a life threatening head injury, I returned to school.
That was hard. My acquaintances were patient and understanding but I felt different and I didn’t like it. I had to maintain a certain grade point average if I wanted to return to rodeo.
Seven months after I returned home and to school, I returned to the competitive arena.
Four years after the original accident I graduated from high school and won a Canadian championship in Pole Bending, my favorite rodeo event.
I am forty years old now with a bit of a shake in one hand and my speech slows as I get fatigued. I have raised three kids and countless animals with my husband, we’ve been married for 18 years.
I chose to share my story to offer hope to anybody who needs it.
Some of my related web properties:
Back to SURVIVOR STORY PAGES
Thank you for visiting the HOPE TBI Website.
Please take the time to make a comment, share your thoughts, and tell us what impacted you the most and what brought you here:
Your input is important to the development and growth of this website, and we like to know what is going on out there in your thoughts.
Thank you for visiting us! We look forward to hearing from you.