1st Carnival of Hope for TBI Survivors

by Steve Holder on March 2, 2009

A traumatic brain injury is just that – traumatic.  As every TBI survivor will attest, it is a life changing event.

After the initial worry-filled days or weeks in intensive care, when family and friends are praying for their loved one to just make it through the injury alive, survivors eventually go home to begin a long and often difficult journey through recovery and rehabilitation.

For those who are just beginning that journey, we bring you stories of hope – stories of other TBI survivors who have had to rebuild their lives around the reality of their injury, but who have gone on to live their lives anyway.  In some of these stories, you may hear of the highs and the lows, the successes and the crashes – there is no sugar coating.  But you will also hear the common themes of determination, acceptance, and the importance of friends and family. 

Reading these stories, you’ll discover each one is different, and yet they are all the same.  They tell us it is indeed possible to write your own story and attain a life that is fulfilling in your own unique way.

Take Kelly Sanders for example. After her injury, she went on to begin a successful career in massage therapy. Read about Kelly’s recovery at KellyGirlTN. Be sure to click on her AboutMe page. What Kelly doesn’t mention on her website, however, is that she was recently appointed by the governor of Tennessee to a two-year term on the state’s TBI Advisory Council. Congratulations, Kelly!

From a different point of view comes Betsy’s story of the TBI her 72-year-old mother suffered, and how at 80, Mom now stays involved with book groups, theater and friends. As her mother’s caregiver, Betsy can be credited with much of her mom’s successful recovery. Her website gives a very detailed account of the injury and the many steps taken on the long road to healing. Read Betsy’s Support Site for Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery and Rehabilitation.

Here’s one you don’t see very often. Elsiha Jensen writes poetry – pretty good poetry, actually. Through his poems you’ll catch glimpses of life through his eyes after his accident. Visit Elisha’s site, Newer Stuff From My Head.

In July 2000, Army Sgt Chris Lynch spent 24 days in a coma after falling 2 1/2 stories onto his head during a military training exercise in France.  Over the following 8 years, Sgt lynch chronicled his rehabilitation and recovery, year by year. Read more about Chris at Welcome to Chris’ Web. For his latest update, jump ahead to Page 19. Don’t foget to click on the arrows under the photos to see more.

On her one-page personal website, Cortney Wells describes feeling as though she could never go to college following her TBI in high school. Today, she has a degree and a job as a dental assistant. Cortney says, ” What I want you to get out of this story is that you should NEVER give up!!”

In a much longer account, Barbara Jean chronicles her 10-year journey in recovery after her stopped 18-wheeler was rear ended by another semi traveling at full speed. Read more at BJs Closet.

In her brief post, Denise Fury describes “the surviving, the fighting, the crying, the growing up” involved in her 5 years of recovery, and her next steps. Read Denise’s Page.

And in the “Famous People” category is this interview with Lee Woodruff submitted by Alvaro Fernandez. Lee’s husband, well-known national TV reporter Bob Woodruff, was brain-injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq in January 2006.  In August 2008, Bob was back at work interviewing Presidential contender John Edwards on national TV.  Read all about Bob’s remarkable recovery

There are many, many more stories of hope and recovery we can bring you, but I think these are enough for now.  We’ll save some for our next Carnival April 2nd.

If you know of any other stories of hope that would be helpful or inspiring to new TBI survivors, please leave us your comment below, or if you prefer, email me. And if you enjoyed this Carnival, please share it with others.

Thanks Everyone,

Steve Holder

For additional stories, visit:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bernard Goggins March 2, 2009 at 10:03 am

Dear Steve,

I am:
A survivor since being hit by a minivan on 7/27/2002.
Sixty, an slder survivor.
A SUCCESS by God’s grace.
An example of what a survivor’s potential can be guided and stimulated to accomplish.

I am not:
Well educated or well read.
Extraordinarily intelligent or an exceptional student.

A disability is an undeniable fact. A handicap is an accepted option. It has to be accepted to be a handicap. Until it is accepted as a handicap, it is a necessary adaptation.

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