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Bill Jarvis on recovery from a brain injury

Editor’s note: Bill Jarvis shares his story of what it is like to go through recovery after surviving a car crash that resulted in much damage, including a brain injury. This is the second in received stories regarding brain injury. To read the rest of them, please visit the index.

My traumatic brain injury was ten years ago due to a car collision. My injuries were severe. I was in a coma for five weeks, fractured C1-C4 vertebrae, punctured a lung, lacerated liver, and a brain stem twist. I was in hospitals for one and a half years with extensive rehabilitation.

My recovery has been very slow over the past ten years. I have persevered and never given up in my effort to regain skills. This determination has been my best friend. I have also had tremendous support from family and friends. My faith has been instrumental in maintaining hope for the future. Although still limited in many ways, I am vastly improved and continue to improve. My participation in activities in those areas of improvement has been most beneficial.

I was taking physical therapy one day before I could walk. I was frustrated and angry and asked the therapist if doing all these stupid exercises would ensure that I would walk again.

She said, “I really do not know what the outcome will be, but I know one thing that is absolutely a sure thing. If you don’t do anything, you will not get any better!”

All the research affirms TBI Survivors can improve. A lot of that improvement is up to the Survivor’s self-motivation. Other things influence improvement such as physicians, therapist, and support. However, the most influential factor often comes within the person.

— Bill Jarvis

Would you like to submit your own story of surviving and recovery? We are accepting both written and video submissions! Just sent it along with your name to Grace at gconyers {at} insanitek {dot} net. We will assume that any submission has your expressed permission to share it.