Survivor or Caregiver
TBI One Love Survivor Ben Almond
Hello, my name is Ben Almond.
I will never forget how, during July of 1983, I was a typical 18 year old middle class suburban high school student in Arlington, Texas out with friends after work, throwing the frisbee, drinking some beer, when it came time to go home. As I was driving home I was making a U-turn on a divided boulevard when I was involved in a very serious accident. I was dead on the scene!
But, by the Grace of God I was close enough to the fire station that the EMT'S got me out of the wreck and...
By the Grace of God were about to cut a tracheostomy when I coughed, cleared my airway and...
By the Grace of God were, after several attempts on the way, able to resuscitate me into a coma that lasted 7 days then what they called a semi-coma for another 7 days.
Sometime on the first night, police called my mother and told her she needed to get to the hospital right away.
The first Doctor told her based on what he had seen that I would probably not regain consciousness and that if I did I would likely need attendant care for the foreseeable future...
By the Grace of God she got a second opinion from another neurologist who predicted a more positive outcome. I personally believe that positivity is synergistic and the more people around a situation looking for a positive outcome the more positive the outcome will be found.
By the Grace of God I was moved to what was then Swiss Avenue Rehabilitation Hospital (now Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation). Where I worked the next 5 weeks to re-learn to walk, talk, feed myself, take care of my "bathroom hygiene" and etcetera.
By the Grace of God I was pronounced by the insurance company progressed enough to go home and finish my rehab at home.
I started my senior year in high school about 2 or 3 weeks later.
Lots of stumbling and fumbling and wandering down the wrong hallway at the wrong time but, By the Grace of God I graduated in '84.
We moved to suburban Georgia outside Atlanta where I started Junior College and working, still stumbling some, but hardly ever falling down anymore!
My older brother moved out there as well and we got closer than we had been for years in the several months until he was in an accident of his own in May of 1986 and did not survive.
I was devastated beyond words for the next several months having an emotional breakdown aggravated by my TBI as well as survivor guilt. In that span of weeks I dropped out of College, abandoned my job and basically withdrew from my life as we moved back to Texas in the late summer.
There is more to this story but the positive thing is that shortly afterwards I met the girl across the street who I became friends with and then married!
We have raised two sons into independent men and will celebrate 30 years of marriage in December.
By the Grace of God I am a product of a chain of miracles!
Thank you for letting me join this helpful family, if anything I can assist with please ask.