#TBIaffectedme stories to support brain injury awareness!

Join our movement to support brain injury awareness by sharing your brain injury story using #TBIaffectedme and tagging us on:

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Check out some highlights below!

March is #BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth! This #TBIaffectedme story comes to us from Carissa Nielsen (@carissanielsensworld) who shares what life after TBI is really like: “My SUV was smashed by another car. My physical injuries included a broken elbow, broken thumb, hand laceration & skull laceration. I needed surgeries, stitches, casts, slings, physical therapy & pills. But I was “lucky,” I looked “great!” My diagnosis was: traumatic brain injury with concussion. We like a clear “diagnosis”, we like a clear “cure”, we like to know when we’ll be “back to normal”. These things are nearly impossible with a brain injury. What you’re told is to “try to do things as normal and hopefully you’ll feel normal again.” What they don’t really tell you is that there’s a new normal. “New Normal” means relearn everything you thought was normal and the new way is now: Normal. I want to talk about the things my family & friends don’t always see me struggling with. They ask how I’m doing & no matter what I say, they respond with… “But you look great!” Brain injuries are injuries. They hurt. They need to heal. They affect your life. They affect everyone around you. They don’t have a cast. Their stitches don’t ever come out. There isn’t always a scar. They’re just as, if not more, life-changing as physical & visible injuries.” ⠀ We want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a #survivor? #caregiver? #professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost as many as we can on our social media sites! ⠀ #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #headinjury #braininjuryawareness #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbi #tbiawareness #concussion #postconcussionsyndrome #postconcussivesyndrome #caraccident #caraccidentsurvivor #newnormal #braininjuryalliancenj

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

This #TBIaffectedme story comes to us from Brett (@wycinski_12) who sustained a brain injury while playing football: “3 years ago I suffered a traumatic brain injury & almost lost my life. I really don’t even know where to begin, but I want to say thank you to everyone who has been there for me over the past 3 years. All of the love, support, and prayers have meant the world to me. I believe all of those prayers when I was in the hospital in a coma helped save my life. It’s hard to believe it’s been 3 years already, but at the same time it feels like it’s been longer than that. The fact that I am still here today is nothing short of a miracle. This whole journey has been incredibly humbling. I am a new man, and a better man because of my traumatic brain injury. I am thankful for every day and every person I am blessed enough to share this life with. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart – for everything!” ⠀⠀ We want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost as many as we can on our social media sites! ⠀ #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #headinjury #braininjuryawareness #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbi #tbiawareness #football #footballinjury #coma #healing #survivor #positiveoutlook #recovery #thankful #MotivationMonday #WycinskiWarriors #braininjuryalliancenj

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

This #TBIaffectedme story comes to us from Laura (@goowengo) about her young son. Owen suffered a traumatic brain injury while playing at home after a tomato cage fell on top of him and punctured his skull & brain. He had three brain surgeries in the first 24 hours. He was not expected to survive his third surgery. The doctors removed a large portion of his skull to allow some room for his brain to swell. He was placed into a medically induced coma, and required breathing & feeding tubes. Not only did Owen pull through but he is surpassing everyone’s expectations! He’s had to spend 3 months in the hospital and participate in countless hours of therapies, but Owen is once again home and living life to the fullest with his family. ⠀ We want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a #survivor? #caregiver? #professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost as many as we can on our social media sites! ⠀ #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #headinjury #braininjuryawareness #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbi #coma #brainswelling #brainsurgery #brainsurgerysurvivor #miracle #survivor #goowengo #prayforowen #braininjuryalliancenj

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

Words of wisdom from the lovely @itscristabelle: “Brain Injury can happen to anyone. Looking “normal” is NOT the same thing as feeling “normal” – never assume you know a person’s story! #TBIaffectedme on 12/2/07. One moment, and your whole life changes! Even though the journey is 3 steps forward 2 steps back, I’m a SURVIVOR – and we survivors know that we can never give up!” March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and #BIANJ – we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #tbi #tbiawarenessmonth #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #shareyourstory #survivor #brains #braininjuryalliancenj #iamthefaceofbraininjury #hopeafterheadinjury

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

This #TBIaffectedme story comes to us from Tiffany Ward (@tiffy_ward_author) who shares what happened to her daughter: 6 year old Brazyl was struck by a hit & run driver while trick or treating. At the time, she was given just a 10% chance of survival. But after a 2 month coma, 9 surgeries, and 3 months of intensive rehabilitation – Brazyl finally came home to her family & is improving every day. Tiffany’s mom has written a book about the family’s journey. ⠀ We want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost as many as we can on our social media sites! ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #braininjuryawareness #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbi #tbiawareness #headinjury #headtrauma #hitandrun #coma #pedestriansafety #halloweensafety #rehab #recovery #family #support #teambrazyl #braininjuryalliancenj

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

This #TBIaffectedme story comes to us from Brooke (aka @bpoling) who shares the story of her son Brantly! Brantly lives with 2 acquired brain injuries: chiari malformation and hydrocephalus, or excess fluid on the brain. Both conditions are complications from his spina bifida. Brantly had a shunt placed a few hours after birth to help drain this fluid so that the brain can function properly. In Brantly’s short life, he has endured several surgeries with more to come in the future. His family finds meaning in their struggles by helping spread awareness about all of the conditions that affect Brantly as well as all of the friends he’s made along the way. Their motto is: “Spread the word, Change a heart!” That smile must melt a lot of hearts, Brooke! Thank you for sharing his story! March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #spinabifida #shareyourstory #storytelling #brains #chiari #chiarimalformation #survivors #hydrocephalus #acquiredbraininjury #abi #braininjuryalliancenj

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

Another amazing #TBIaffectedme story about defying the odds. Meet Jonathan Swiatocha – aka @runtovictory. Can you believe that Jonathan once could only communicate by blinking? Can you believe he was once paralyzed from the waist down? He & his family were hit by an underage drunk driver when he was 10 years old. Despite spending time in a medically induced coma & being paralyzed from the waist down, Jonathan made a miraculous recovery and founded “Run to Victory” – his motivational speaking company. His positive attitude is infectious, and he loves helping others find victory in adversity. Amazing, Jonathan! March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #lifesajourney #storytelling #brains #running #runtovictory #survivors #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

A #TBIaffectedme photo that is worth a thousand words…. Erin Campbell (@eriincampbell) shared this beautiful photo of her & her brother. Adam is an army vet who served overseas, and upon returning home was in a tragic car accident. He’s been working on his recovery for a year and a half. Erin reports that Adam is in good spirits, but progress has been slow. He still can not walk or talk beyond 1 or 2 words, but he remains positive. Judging by the smile on his face, the positivity from his family is just what Adam needs. Thank you, Erin…. Adam will remain in our thoughts, and we’re here if you need us! March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #shareyourstory #storytelling #brains #ugotbrains #useyourhead #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

A #TBIaffectedme story from Silvia Ayala aka @silvia15 about little Mikey…. Mikey was an 18 mnth old when he fell off a chair and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury. He suffered a subdural hematoma that resulted in significant brain shift. The neuro team performed an emergency operation. His brain was still very swollen after they removed his blood clot so they decided to leave his bone flap off. Baby Mikey was on life support and in a medically induce coma for weeks. Doctors advised us he could be in bed the rest of his life. About a month later he went into another operation to place his bone flap back on. After that, slowly but surely he was showing improvements. He remained in the hospital for 3 months. We were receiving inpatient physical, speech, & occupational therapy. Baby Mikey had to learn EVERYTHING all over again. He’s now making so many improvements everyday, he’s a miracle!” One of the cutest miracles we’ve ever seen, @silvia15! March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #TeamMikeyTBI #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #braininjuryawareness #tbi #traumaticbraininjury #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #subduralhematoma #silentepidemic #nevergiveup #storytelling #brains #healing #miracle #survivors #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

 

A #TBIaffectedme story from Nicole Vanessa Austin aka @shmi_skywalker who is 10 years post injury. She had fallen off a push scooter while not wearing a helmet which caused a brain bleed. The loose blood formed a clot that pinned her brain to her skull. The surgeons had to drill holes in her skull to release the pressure and remove the clot. Having initially been told she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, she has healed much better than her doctors anticipated. But 10 years later, she says she loves her scar & the story it represents. March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #scar #scarstories #storytelling #brains #ugotbrains #useyourhead #survivors #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj

 

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

A #TBIaffectedme story from Ahmed Elsebaie (@ahmedsrecovery) who shares: “16 months ago my life just switched from that of a 23 year old human, full of life to a patient in deep coma after a severe brain injury due to a horrible car accident. I’ve been considered a hopeless case to the extent of postponing my spine fixation for more than 3 months. After 6 months of being in a vegetative coma, I regained my consciousness and ever since I’m working hard to get back to myself again. I’m grateful to God. Thankful for my family and friends and all those people who are helping me and always praying for me. The road is still long but I’m not walking alone.” Amazing, Ahmed! We’re all pulling for you & your continued recovery! March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #shareyourstory #recovery #rehab #brains #ugotbrains #survivorattitude #survivors #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

TBI affected Amari Dawkins… She has this to share: “MY NAME IS AMARI DAWKINS and #TBIAffectedMe. My life changed on April 29, 2013. My Grandmother and I were in a terrible car accident and I have traumatic brain injury. I no longer walk or talk or do any of the things I was accustomed to doing. Soon I will do it all again. My family was told I only had 20 minutes to live and if I did make it, I would never open my eyes, breath on my own, walk and talk or even smile. We were told I would stay in a vegetative state. Well today I’m happy to report that I breathe on my own, smile and recognize my mother and a few other ppl. I communicate by facial expression. I am SO glad that my family and friends prayed for me and still are praying for my full recovery. I will get through this with God’s power and grace. He has moved mountains for my family. My Grandmother is doing well and she has recovered from her injuries. However she has been by my side throughout this ordeal. Please keep us in your prayers and this month is (March) is Brain Injury Awareness Month, so please support by educating yourself, wearing green, or donating to organizations. Fill free to follow Amari’s pages for updates and events: Instagram = @dd4titude and Facebook = Amari Dawkins Thanks so much for your support #TeamAmari4life” March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #shareyourstory #storytelling #brains #ugotbrains #useyourhead #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

An inspiring #TBIaffectedme story from @trayclynn! 9 years ago Tracy was an all star athlete with hopes & dreams of receiving a track & field scholarship. However she took a blow to the head during a game of basketball that changed her life forever. Now she’s an advocate & public speaker working to raise #concussion awareness. Check out her video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU3214hQT2IVJ4am0d76kx0Q&v=UL_aA2fPd4M March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #shareyourstory #storytelling #brains #ugotbrains #useyourhead #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

 

This #TBIaffectedme comes to us from Laura Weigel – @thewill2wow: Meet Will (and his twin sister Katie!) When he was 11 months old, Will accidentally ingested a dropped blood pressure pill. Without knowing this had happened, his mother put him down for a nap, where he aspirated on his own vomit and received limited oxygen before his family realized something was wrong and rushed him to the ER. At the hospital he was placed in a medically induced coma for 5 days. Aftewards, Will showed no response to family or his environment. His eyes were open, but he was not responsive to stimuli and he made no purposeful movement. He was unable to swallow to eat, so a surgery was performed to place a feeding tube into his stomach. Will is now severely disabled as a result of the brain injury sustained from lack of oxygen. He presents as a child with Cerebral Palsy. He has visual impairment, excessive tone preventing him from moving, and he eats through a g-tube. However Will now smiles, reacts to sounds, toys, family member’s voices, and he is getting some movement back. He loves music, to be sung too, and movement. Will’s family attributes the improvements he has made to stem cell therapy and their ongoing love & support. Thank you for sharing what your family has been through, Laura! March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #twins #shareyourstory #stemcelltherapy #brains #cerebralpalsy #cp #useyourhead #survivors #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj

 

A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on

@MirkinSarah shares this #TBIaffectedme story about her brother Dudi. Dudi spent over 3 months in a coma after a bad fall. He completed 2 months in inpatient rehab before stepping down to outpatient. Despite being so close to death, one year later, Dudi is back at school and learning to walk again. Inspiring! March is #braininjuryawarenessmonth and we want to hear how #braininjury has affected YOU! Are you a survivor? caregiver? professional? Share your story, using words or photos, under #TBIaffectedme and we’ll repost our favorites all month long on all of our social media sites! #braininjuryallianceofnj #BIANJ #traumaticbraininjury #traumaticbraininjuryawareness #tbiawareness #braininjury #tbi #braininjuryawareness #headinjury #lifeafterbraininjury #lifewithtbi #disabilityawareness #invisibleillness #silentepidemic #shareyourstory #storytelling #brains #ugotbrains #useyourhead #awareness #braininjuryalliancenj A photo posted by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ (@braininjuryallianceofnj) on