Hi, my name is Brandon, and this is my story.
On December 23rd, 2004 while driving to El Paso Texas, my car hit black ice that covered the highway. This caused me to be in a devastating accident. As a result, I sustained a traumatic brain injury. I was in a coma for three months and in hospitals for eight months. With deficits of short-term memory loss, speech and cognitive disabilities, being legally blind and left side paralysis. My life was changed in a matter of seconds. Recovering from a TBI is a lot of hard work and dedication, but it is all worth it!
What has affected me the most is short term memory loss. I use association, grouping, visualization, writing, and repetition. Everybody uses all these memory strategies subconsciously, but if you have a brain injury you purposely have to use them. Another difficulty I had to overcome was speech. Due to the brain injury I was considered legally blind. With two eye surgeries and prism glasses and time, my vision has improved some. Although I do know accidents happen, I also know that things could have been a lot worse. My recovery has been slow but filled with many goals and achievements.
Ronda, Linda and Tara are parents of three brain injury survivors in our group. This group started back in 2006 and evolved from a support group to an organization when three moms decided to take it to the next level. These three awesome women put in hours without payment yet get payment in what results from We’re Moving Forward. I always love going to the social gatherings which are planned by this organization. My friends are all amazing and we can all relate because we know what it’s like to have TBIs. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know how important life is and I don’t take anything for granted. As for the group we are all happy to see each other at group gatherings. These gatherings are some of the few places we feel 100% accepted.
I look forward to the events throughout the year. A few of these exciting events I look forward to every year are the Up North, the Christmas party, Dolly Steamboat, picnic barbecues and movie outings here and there. I am so happy to be a part of this amazing group; WE’RE MOVING FORWARD!