My TBI allowed me to push the ‘Restart’ button — Oliver Bryan

I am Oliver Bryan, a 29-year-old TBI survivor. I currently am a full-time student, graduating last December 2018 from Honors College at GCU (Grand Canyon University) with my business degree and starting my Masters January 2019 in Clinical Mental Health with a focus in counseling. With any free-time I have outside of school, I attempt to be involved in as many Brain Injury functions and events within the TBI Community as possible. Additionally, I am also involved with the Governor’s Council on Spinal and Head Injuries and am a part of the Research Team developing and conducting a Federally funded PCORI Traumatic Brain Injury Research Study. I plan on being as involved within the TBI Community as possible and intend to utilize my Masters Degree within the Community.

After serving four years in the United States Navy, I returned home on October 7th, 2012 and was asked to participate in a Flag ceremony at the Monday Night Arizona Cardinals football game on October 29th, 2012. After carrying out and presenting the US Flag across the field, I went for a short ride on my motorcycle (not having my helmet on) and unaware of the area, went down a dead-end road. Unable to stop I hit a dirt embankment and was thrown 35’, landing on my head. I sustained a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury, was on life support for a week, and in a coma for a month. I then spent the next 2+ years in intense rehab.

My Brain Injury completely changed my personality and who I am as a person. My TBI allowed me to push the ‘Restart’ button, becoming the person I want and am proud of. Prior to my Brain Injury, I wasn’t the best person, very selfish and self-centered, carrying for no one but myself. My Brain Injury gave me direction/passion and love for others. Moreover, God used my TBI to pull me back to Him and re-ignite the fire in my heart. My TBI has and I’m sure will be the most difficult I will ever face, but I would do it all again to remain the person I am today.

We’re Moving Forward (WMF) has become an amazing platform for survivors to feel a sense of norm, having a social life.

Moreover, WMF produces an additional platform for survivors to have the chance to socialize and interact with fellow survivors that we can relate with. Having the ability to share our thoughts, feelings, challenges, and triumphs with other survivors allows us not to feel alone in this long road of recovery. The only ones that understand us, is us!