TBI One Love Survivor Jennifer Stokley
Hello, my name 52 years ago Pre-TBI was Jennifer. Jennifer had/has an inoperable ABI. She was on to much of her pain medication, mixed with Alcohol (which was normal, as she was at that time a hard-core alcoholic waiting for her ABI to kill her soon). She somehow fell out of her 2nd story window of her own house, landing on the sidewalk below.
She broke her neck, 5 ribs on the left, her pelvis in 3 places. She ruptured her bladder completely, punctured her left lung and incurred a severe TBI. She was found later by a friend laying there, rescue was called, she was taken to the hospital and it was determined she needed to be life-flighted to a Level 1 Brain Trauma Hospital. She went into Cardiac Arrest 2 times on the way, but they were able to bring her back. She was into surgery for 2 days with her Momma waiting and praying for her. The last surgeon came out and told her that they had done all that they could do to save her, but it was now in God's hands. Meaning he didn't have much hope that she would survive.
She was taken to ICU where she remained in a Coma, Glascow Scale of 3 for 2 1/2 weeks. Her Momma was told that she may want to make "arrangements", but she refused to give up hope. She knew that Jennifer was a Figher! Then...Jeni fought to take her own breathes. They removed Jeni from life support and I was able to breathe on my own. I was born, or re-born. I continued to be semi-vegetative, yet I was breathing on my own. My Momma was told that I may never wake, and if I did I may always be mentally incompetent due to the injury to my brain. See, I had severe Diffused Axonal Injury (like Shaken Baby), I had Shearing, severe bleeding, swelling of the brain. They had chosen not to drain any of the blood even though I had so much swelling and bleeding, as they didn't expect me to survive. Why put me through any more than I already had been through.
My body seemed to want to take care of that. My brain slowly reduced it's swelling, it reabsorbed the blood that was there. I was in rehab for almost 3 months. I don't remember ICU or the first week or so in Rehab. Jeni really was born in Rehab. I was told I may never walk, that just made me mad and I worked to prove them wrong. I was told I may need to live in a nursing home not live on my own, that just made me mad and I worked to prove them wrong. So much more. Tell me no, I'll prove you wrong.
Today, 10 yrs later I Walk with a Cane when I leave the house. At home, I just know where to touch to assist with my balance. I have Ataxia, no biggie, I can Walk. Proved them Wrong. I live alone in my Own Home, Independently. I pay my own bills, handle my own business, I'm Independent. I have partial assistance from my loving family, I'm grateful. I am Independent. Proved then Wrong. Oh, I was diagnosed as Legally Blind due to my Left Pupil blowing from my TBI. Last year I had a vision test done (I do massive eye exercises and computer work, which includes reading) and was diagnosed as almost 20/20! Yay! Proved them Wrong! Anything else they want to tell Jeni she can't do? I will Keep On Keeping On Proving them Wrong while I Keep On Keeping On, Getting Farther Along In My Recovery Daily. A little at a time, adds up to Huge Amounts over Time. I got the rest of my life to get there, there's no hurry. I got a 2nd chance to Fight, Fight, Fight!!!