• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Anthony Perez

Hello, my name is Anthony.

On June 10, 2011, my day was planned.  Run errands during the day, have dinner with my Grandma in the evening.  At 2:00pm that day my plans changed.  I was hit by an SUV while I was returning home from my errands.  I was riding on my moped without a helmet.  The plans were now in the hands of EMS, trauma surgeons, and medical staff. 

I was given a 5% chance of survival.  Survival meant laying in a bed, and perhaps not being able to recognize what was happening around me.  My skull was cracked open with the impact.  It was reported to me that EMS had told emergency room staff that there was brain matter on the road, and road matter on my brain.  The surgeons took me into surgery immediately where they “cleaned out” the debris the best they could, and repair what damage they could. 

At this point I was now on life support and being monitored for what progress I would make.  Within 24 hours of the accident I was waking up.  I had limited movement of my left side, no movement of the right side.  I could not speak.  I could understand simple questions.  I would answer my mother by squeezing her hand for yes and no.  At this point it was a matter of minute by minute, hour by hour to determine what care I was needing. 

The doctors had told my family it could have been a good choice not to have worn a helmet, as the immediate brain swelling I experienced could have resulted in a much worse outcome.  The swelling is what they had to deal with now, and what effects that would have on my healing.  As stated above, my family was told I had a 5% chance of bare minimum survival. They were told of all the problems they expected I would encounter.   Among these problems they were sure I would have a brain infection, and that most likely would be fatal.  My accident was on a Friday. 

The Wednesday following the accident I was sitting up in bed was off life support and able to communicate with staff with “thumb up/down” hand gestures.  They were amazed with my rapid recovery, and thus plans were made to prepare me for transfer to Lincoln, Nebraska for the start of my rehabilitation at Madonna.  The major problems never happened.  My progress continued.  

I left for Madonna on June 30, 2011.  I “graduated” from Madonna and was transferred to Omaha, Nebraska for the next level of rehabilitation.  I had such rapid progress that on February 22, 2012 I came home for good.  I had approximately one year of therapy at home on an outpatient level.  I now continue with speech therapy through Wichita State University, and will receive physical and occupational therapy as needed. I am walking without assistance of cane or other support. 

The ability to speak my thoughts (aphasia) and limited movement of my right arm and hand are my main enemies now.  I have not only won the 5% chance of survival, but have progressed 100% further than expected. 

As of today, I continue to make progress with speech and bodybuilding!

Thank you TBI One Love!

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