When Life Happens

Meet Goob West—I am a fifteen (15) year survivor of severe traumatic brain injury. The recovery has been a complete uphill battle. “How long was my recovery?” you might ask. I will answer that question when it is over with. I will always be in the recovery process. I am a different person now. I see life a little different. When I was 20 years old, I was volunteering with my school to raise money in order to help people with developmental disabilities. I was hurt in the process. I fell fifty feet (50’) from a tree and landed on blacktop. I broke nine (9) bones, collapsed one lung, and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. I lost everything I had. My life turned to hell. I was ashamed of my brain-injury. I tried to hide from it. I pretended that it never happened.

I spent many years believing that I was the same person. ‘The accident didn’t really change me,’ was the false statement I believed. I finally accepted it. I now wear my brain-injury as a badge. I am proud of it. I play an active role in the brain-injury circles. I am now about educating the general public to the depths of brain-injury. I remind everyone that having a brain-injury is not a character defect.  It is one of the things that happens in life.

It took a while before I realized the only people who will ever understand me are fellow survivors of brain-injury. For that reason, I have joined every support group I can. I have finally found a group where I feel at home. ‘We’re moving forward’ is that group. It is a group of survivors and family members who know that we still want to have fun, even though we have a brain-injury. We still want to experience life and all the good things it has to offer. As survivors, we need to do things a little different than average, but the group knows that and plans accordingly. ‘We’re moving forward’ is the best place to be for any person with a brain injury.