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  • Writer's pictureSurvivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Isabella Charalampous

Hello, my name is Isabella and my life changed on July 23rd of 2013.

On that date, it was the one year anniversary of my ex and I, and we had been floating the river all day in Auburn, WA. After on the way home, we were in an old, tiny, 2-door Nissan truck.

During the drive, He was going around a big wide turn and didn't think he was going to make it, so he had decided to try and turn into A big field. But, seeing as there was a giant Ford Excursion coming right at us, unfortunately we didn't make it to the field and ended up being T-boned on my side!

They were going to have me Air lifted in the helicopter, but I was fortunately close enough to Seattle to get taken to Harbor View via ambulance.

I had lost loads of blood along the way and needed 2 blood transfusions. They had me in a medically-induced coma for 2 and a half weeks, so that the swelling and bleeding in my brain could go down, and so they could perform my necessary surgeries.

I needed facial reconstruction and had shattered and broke my right hip in 2 places. I also had a lacerated liver, kidney and spleen, so they had to cut me up directly in the middle of my tattoo that reads "Pain is Inevitable Suffering is Optional" in order to sew them all up. My lungs collapsed, I had broken several ribs, and nearly every bone in my face. Besides this, my 4 front teeth were also broken, along with my palate.

My parents lived in Vancouver at the time of the crash, and because I had no ID on me, the phone call my mother received was of a nurse telling them to get to the hospital ASAP to identify my body! When I woke up, I had no idea who anyone was. Not even my Sister! I had to relearn my colors, foods, everything!

Every food I tried was new to me, it was as if it were my first time tasting it. Everything was new to me! It was as if I was literally reborn. I had flash backs, but couldn't remember the crash, and still to this day I cannot recall much from that day!

My memories get put into a giant snow globe, and when it comes time to remember something, that snow globe gets shaken up!

Brain injury is more than two handfuls, and we're unfortunately given only two hands! So, it gets hard to juggle this new life most days.

The Coccidian and Severe Nerve Damage I received from the injuries and surgeries, honestly make it hard to even want to get through each day...I have been to the hospital twice for suicidal thoughts and attempts since then, but I finally know that I CAN get through this, and I WILL!

With the love and support I receive on the regular from my loving friends, my boyfriend, family and other TBI survivors, it makes it so easier to get through this and not feel like I'm on my own!

Thank you for sharing my story, and God Bless you all! Stay strong, love you each!

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