• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Jessica Barry

Hello, my name is Jessica.

I have always wanted to move to Miami.  However, I earned an academic scholarship to go to a NJ State School so I stayed in Jersey.  Once I graduated college I told my parents I was going to move to Miami.  I knew no one here and I had no family in Florida but I wanted to live in warm weather for 12 months every year.

I am so close with my family but I parted ways from them and moved to Miami, June 15, 2013.  I studied so much for my real estate exam because that was the career I had set my eyes on.  I took my exam October 3, 2013.  I failed by 3 questions.  I did not have many friends from Miami but I went for drinks with a friends boyfriends brother, an acquaintance, because I guess I was sad that I had failed my exam.  (I still cannot remember anything from that day, however, I assume I was upset so I went out for a drink?  My therapists warned me that if I remember then the memories could haunt me.  So, I leave it up to God, what's meant to be will find its way.)

What I am told about the night of my accident is, I was found in this acquaintances car in a Coma alone.  He was underage, 19 years old.  I do not know why I got in the car with him.  I will never know if I was drugged but I will assume he was under the influence from illegally drinking.  He totaled his BMW and I ended up in a Coma.  He was fine so he got out of the car and he ran away.  He left me to die.  Luckily the accident happened with the  tree infront of the EMT's station.  The EMT workers heard the accident, came outside to help me and called a helicopter in to take me to the hospital.  They said the only reason I had survived with my injuries is because I was wearing my seatbelt.  So please, always wear ur seatbelt, don't text and drive and please never drink and drive!!  If you have any friends that take that risk, please discourage it.  They could not only hurt themselves but they could risk another innocent persons life.

I was in a Coma for 7 days and in the hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital, for 5 weeks.  I have amazing family and I was treated by wonderful doctors and wonderful therapists.

I had double vision from my fractered orbital.  I could not walk, I would crawl.  When I could walk, I had NO balance.  I was very depressed for months.  I was in Kesslers cognitive therapy program for 7 months.  Finally my eye sight healed and I immediately moved back to Miami.

My parents were so worried that I moved back to where my near death experience happened, however, I feel it made me so much stronger. 

I don't remember anything from the accident.  All I can remember is, I loved warm Miami.  So, I celebrated my 2 year anniversary here in Miami on October 3, 2015 and I couldn't be any happier!  I did not go out, I peacefully and safely stayed home and cooked a nice dinner and stayed in with my puppy.

My therapists would always say to me, "focus on the light at the end of the tunnel."  I felt as though I'd never reach that light but now I can say, I finally did reach it.  I pray for any and every brain injured person because I have felt their pain and I know it feels like their life is over, but I promise, it is not over.  Just remember, "focus on the light at the end of the tunnel." :)

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