• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Christal Yowell

Hello, my name is Christal Yowell.

On May 2nd of 2013, it started out like a normal day; I dropped my kids off at school, went to work at community shelter as Development and Volunteer Coordinator- at 1:30pm I went to run an errand and walked out into the parking lot. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I never saw it coming. A former resident mistook me for someone else, ran up behind me and struck my head with an empty Henry McKenna whisky bottle.

We later learned his plan was for the bottle to break over my head and he would point the broken glass at me to scare me for money- but that didn't happen. Instead the bottle remained intact, and my head split open.

My shocked attacker abandoned his plan and fled the scene. I stood in shock too for a moment, but still conscious I realized I needed to get help...because I was bleeding- ALOT. I walked 4 car lengths to my office to get my co-workers to get me help. I never lost consciousness, but because of blood loss and pain wavered though various stages memory once I got to the trauma unit at the hospital. After coming through a bleed on the brain, I'm left with a what I'm told is a common Periventricular cavernous malformation...The spot of impact just missed damaging some cognitive functions, could have also damaged my vision- that seems only to be affected by my migraines.  

Through the whole experience of my injury, my brain injury journey my life has changed. Things go slower. some memories are lost- but not May 2. I'm not longer on the medication roller coaster- though I'm still managing migraines and PTSD (fear of being touched from behind- go figure). Panic attacks are more manageable but not nonexistent. Yoga, meditation and music help. I'm Blessed, I'm alive!

I still have a wicked sense of humor- you'd have to when your hair parts differently after 40+years. I'm making new memories and treasuring my friends and family.

Thank you for allowing me to join this positive Family!

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