It’s March again and you know what that means? Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Every year different organizations have different campaigns to celebrate this month, like #ChangeYourMind from the Brain Injury Association of America or the best one I’ve seen so far #notinvisible.
This campaign is being used by Faces of TBI, a movement started by a Brain injury survivor in an attempt to educate people and end the stigma around brain injuries. It may be invisible to others, but it’s not invisible for those who suffer from it, or their caretakers and loved ones. Our lives are changed forever and there’s no going back, only forward.
Brain Injury survivors, share your stories, don’t hide from them. There is nothing to be ashamed about.
In the spirit of Brain Injury Awareness Month, here’s my story again, at least the beginning of it:
It all started before graduating college. I thought I had everything. I was graduating, I was coming home and quickly returning to Syracuse University to begin my Graduate Studies in Journalism… except things didn’t go as I planned.
I graduated but I didn’t get to attend my graduation. It wasn’t a big celebration for my family, or me even though they all came to Syracuse. I spent the day in the hospital, just like I had for two weeks, asleep in a comma. I had been in a comma since May 2, when I had to be taken to the hospital in a rush after being run over by a taxi while I was crossing the street. The taxi driver and I were both at fault there because I was jaywalking and he was going a little too fast. But I’m thankful that he stopped and called an ambulance. They immediately took me to Upstate University Hospital, an incredible university hospital that was only a few blocks away. They took incredible care of me. Immediately performed surgery on my cranium, which was more than necessary because I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and my cranium was all covered in blood. It had to be aired out. First they removed one side of my cranium, but that didn’t stop all the swelling so they had to operate the other side the next morning. If they hadn’t done this I probably wouldn’t have survived. If I did, I don’t think I would be writing, walking or doing all of the things I am able to do now.
Since then it’s been one adventure after another but each of them making me stronger and helping me be strong and brave enough to share my story with you.
I hope to help both campaigns, #ChangeYorMind and #notalone, by helping educate those who don’t know much about Brain Injury and by showing other survivors that there is nothing to be afraid of and there’s many of us out here who know what they are going through. No one is alone in this and there is no reason to be ashamed.