Brain Injury Survivor Stories

Arthur Moss III

  • 19 June 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 3528

On August 6, 2005, Arthur Moss III, left home to join a group of nine friends heading to Sturgis, South Dakota, to fulfill a lifelong dream.  By the time he got to Utah, that dream had turned into a nightmare.  Riding the 1999 Honda Shadow Aero he had customized himself, Moss and others were completing a pass, when suddenly, with no signal, a Chevy truck towing a horse trailer traveling in front of the group of motorcyclists, turned left in front of them, causing the drivers to scatter around to avoid collision.  Moss was forced head-on into the horse trailer, at approximately 40MPH.

Kevin Santos' Personal Story

  • 23 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 2851

The Story of a Minor Who Had So Much

The day was July 19th, 2004, at about 4:20 in the evening, the summer before my senior year in high school; I was on my way home from work, working at my dream in a law office the day of my accident. The office personnel had already informed me that I would be welcome to join their firm once I did obtain my law degree, which would, granted, be many years in the future. But still, to already have job security at the age of 17. How many kids can say that?

Tom Erwwine

  • 22 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 3023

On May 20, 2013, I was on a well-deserved vacation riding my motorcycle with a group of friends when my accident occurred. I was on a twisty desert road in Arizona when somehow I lost control and crashed. My bike left the road and a tree branch impacted with my neck. My motorcycle flipped and I was catapulted forward. My list of injuries was extensive: Double broken right leg (tibia/fibula), broken right arm, collapsed lungs, massive rotator cuff tears in both shoulders, shattered larynx, and brain bleeding (despite having a good helmet on). The Lord must have had more work for me to do, as the first people who happened on the scene were a doctor, an EMT, and a nurse.  I was told I died a couple times at the scene. I was airlifted to St. George Utah, which not being a Level I Trauma center, could only stabilize me and airlift me to Las Vegas. I was in a coma, had a feeding tube and a tracheostomy.

I spent 2 weeks in ICU in Vegas before I was transported by plane to St Jude in Fullerton.  A week later in Fullerton is the first memory I have since the accident. The Dr’s had told my wife not to expect me to eat, talk, or walk again (and my neck injury is usually 95% fatal), and were unsure how well my brain would work. I was told that while in the hospital, I did not know what decade it was, who my family was, or even my pets. This put a tremendous strain on my wife, as we have on a daughter who has a brain injury and my oldest daughter not knowing if her dad would live or die, and might also have permanent brain damage. Luckily, we were friends with Lisa Moss and she helped my family through this (and with the help of the Brainstorming4Us family). After 2 weeks in Fullerton, I was transported to Care Meridian Rehab center where I started my recovery.   I went through speech and physical therapy session, and slowly my memory (and sense of humor) returned. I spent about 6 weeks in rehab before going home.  I actually returned to my job as a Disney computer programmer in just 5 ½ months. I still suffer permanent damage to my body and brain, but if you met me, you’d only notice the scar and dent in my neck and my raspy voice. My attitude was, and still is, you get hurt, you recover, and you go on.  You do the best you can with what you have. 

The Forker Project

  • 21 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 3264

Valerie Forker was devastated when her 20-year-old son, Jeff, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a car accident four years ago. In an instant, Jeff Forker went from an independent young man with the world in front of him to one who required care 24 hours a day, seven days a week — possibly for the rest of his life.

Chris Thornhill

  • 20 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 2699

A Thankful Young man

My name is Chris Thornhill and I am 20 years old. When I was 18, three months after I graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA, I got a brain booboo. I was driving to fast and took out a light post. I was in a coma for 10 days and in the hospital for 2 months. I had a severe brain injury, I broke my right arm, four right ribs, collar bone, leg, and fractured my pelvis. I also had severe lung contusions.

Kelley Hyland

  • 19 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 2498


After Kelley Hyland suffered a traumatic brain injury in a motorcycle accident on Nov. 1, 2007, doctors told his family on several occasions that there was “no hope.” But his family says they have learned that sometimes God has other plans.

Hyland was returning home to Phelan from work in Moreno Valley, where he was a deputy for Riverside County, when a truck pulled in front of him on Highway 138. Hyland struck the rear of the truck and was then airlifted to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. He remained in a coma for nearly nine months.

Fast and Fearless by Joseph Schmidt

  • 18 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 1697
In every person’s life there are times in which one’s life takes a turning point. These events can stimulate changes for the better or the worse; in either case they shape the rest of that person’s life. Although they may vary in importance and frequency, they equally shape us into the unique individuals that we are. The most profound of these experiences are often traumatic incidents which occur early in life, in childhood. Such is the event that has shaped my own life and made me much of the person I am today; a cruel trick of fate that victimized my siblings and me early in our lifetime.

Frank Scott

  • 17 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 1729

The disruption of my brain began when I woke up one morning in June of 2006. I got up, started down the hallway and noticed my balance was gone. I kept bumping into the wall and couldn't read. I knew right away something was wrong. I woke up my son and instructed him to drive me to Loma Linda Hospital to determine what was going on. I called my girlfriend and explained to her what was going on she said she would meet us at Loma Linda.

On My Own by Elaine Martinez

  • 16 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 1982

My day started as an ordinary one. I got up and fed the kids, talked to an instructor who had become a friend of mine at the University of Wyoming, (UW) where I was in my first year of college at age 36. Though I had no idea what my major was going to be I had reasoned with myself that there were certain general education requirements that had to be met for a degree and I may as well start there. I had recently separated from my son’s father and left him a distance of 325 miles, on the south western side of Wyoming; I was now in Laramie, the south eastern side of the state.

Josh Dotson

  • 7 March 2009
  • Author: Lisa Moss
  • Number of views: 1735

On September 15th 1996, I had a gun shot accident. The doctor's kept telling my parent's I had a 50/50 chance of living, I was in a coma for 4-6 weeks after that I was sent to Ballard Rehab, & at that time I was the youngest patient there so I basically was spoiled rotten. This is where I learned to talk, & get minor movement of my right arm. I was sent home on February 1st 1997, because I thought it was just a waste of time. I went to St. Mary's hospital for a few months, I was actually taking steps, only thing holding me was this one big guy (not fat either, just muscle) John, he had to be over 6 feet tall.

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