TBI Will Not Stop Me

TBI Cannot Stop Me

Traumatic brain injury; what this means is that I have broken or injured a part of my body… just happened to be my brain oops. I was involved in a hit and run and left on the side of the road in a remote part of South Africa I had damaged all four segments of my brain, had blood bleeding through it and a lack of oxygen supply to this vital organ for many hours before being found. My wife was unaware of the traumatic accident until these few cold words were softly spoken to her through a broken cell phone of mine lying next to a badly broken body, ‘he is alive but unresponsive.’ I was airlifted and brought back to life many times before the medics got me to a trauma unit when I eventually got proper medical attention about twenty hours later. I did a proper job of it my frontal left lobe is there but inactive so I basically live with three parts of my brain in working order instead of four. How then do I function each day? How do I run a marathon amongst a crowd of thousands for the first time in my life at forty seven and still help others to keep on going?

TBI is such a lonely phrase almost like a swear word to some, ‘you have what?’ Yip I have TBI and ran ten kilometres in a road race and in six months’ time will run the New York marathon I will complete the forty two kilometres and I will do this to show people that TBI is possible. I will teach people that we are not diseased we are as ordinary as they are and that this can happen to anyone in a split second I will tell all to not tip toe around us or be frightened of this injury to just understand that we have hurt ourselves but get stronger each day and that we are alive and so strong.

I have not worked now since my accident took place almost two years ago I cannot yet and I need to raise money to get to New York before I am able to get started on my mission I will do this somehow soon I may have to ask all the people I know to please help get me there. Penny an old friend has already offered to help with my air tickets – wow! If I cannot raise the money from asking which I do not want to do in anyway as I am a proud man and I cannot expect that in any way I will make a plan somehow, I have to as I have to be a proud ambassador of TBI to help explain to ordinary folk that it could be your friend, brother, sister who may fall one day and in an instant they are hurt bad but they are still ordinary and they as everybody have faults and good parts too.

I write these words as if I am fine and all is good yes I look fine but I do know I am not fine I do know I am broken I know that the hardest part of my recovery is the pain my amazing wife goes through. I also know that I am on the mend I know this as my wife cannot hide the emotional tell-tale signs I see on her most beautiful face as she talks to people about how I have progressed in my recovery. I also do know that I have changed and I will never be the man I used to be I am a new man now with new dreams just an ordinary man living my life to the fullest I can. TBI is part of who I am now I shall carry the invisible scar my entire life and that is okay as I will be the best I can be, love hard and live hard.

I will be at a local university this week with my bio kinesis Justin I will be there on his invitation as he lectures to students who have chosen a most difficult path to help ordinary people like myself who themselves have fallen hard to get up again to be able to get mobility back to their broken bodies. Justin will speak as he always does of the love he has for helping others and that the students before him should be prepared of the difficult but most rewarding path they are on. I feel proud and privileged to have been asked to go along with this great man so now I get the opportunity to motivate a young mind even if I just sit there the students can look at me and say ‘wow our studies enabled this man up to get up again and run a marathon’. They will know they are in fact on the right road which they chose to travel.

This is a dream of mine to motivate young minds to show them that even when you fall and break you can get up again I do hope in silence that I do not freeze up and maybe can add value. I love who I am now and I will not let TBI beat me I will stand proud and strong and I will be great, this is my road and I shall travel it well.


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