• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Joe Martin

Hello, my name is Joe.

My story happened in August 23, 1988, about 8:00PM just about the NY Yankees game began. I then worked for Emergency Medical Services from the Health and Hospital Corporation. I was working as an Emergency Medical Technician in the south Bronx, NY which was an exciting job.

I worked there 1977-2005, 27 years of service. I worked the day shift and was home with my 'family' about to enjoy the game, but there was a lot of yelling outside my apartment between my step-daughter and a girl, they both were 15 years old then. As a parent I went to find out what was going on. The other girl then wanter to challenge me, which her 'cousin'. He approached me and wanted to fight, so I challenged him (wrong move).

There were several kids watching what was going on, and I mentioned that we go down to the lobby which is a large area and everybody could watch the fight. As we went to the lobby the boy changed his mind and 'did not want to kick my ***. So we walked away and I went back upstairs. My (back then) my common-law-wife wanted me to go to the store and I did with my son (8 years old then) and the 15 year old boy changed his mind and wanted to fight. I told him that it was over and went to the local store. Now coming back home he approached me again (3rd time) face to face and had his friend to strike my head with a baseball bat and I collapsed to the sidewalk.

After waking up from the blow I realized that I was bleeding profusely. I do not know how I got up stairs (four flights up). The next time I woke up was when I had a towel on my head and EMS + NYPD arrived at the scene. I was bandaged and asked if I could walk to the ambulance, I don't remember if I answered the question or not because I went back into a coma. I was transported to a levee 1 trauma center, Jacobi Hospital. I was in a coma for a week and had to learn who to walk, talk and read all over again. I was in the hospital for 3 months. I was now home bound for rehab and noticed there was a different atmosphere in the house because I was not getting paid.

Long story short I left the family because of being neglected and my well being. I then left them to live with my parents on the 4th of July 1989 which was my Independence Day. Shortly after being there I went back to work but in a limited duty. There was an issue on a missing EMS radio and I was blamed for it. It really happened before I arrived to work @ 8:00AM. I demanded to go back on the ambulance, even though I have no peripheral vision on my right eye and nerve damage to my hold right side, which was diagnosed at first was a CVA (stroke) plus seizure disorder during the rehab.

I was always doing the medical half of a two man team and not allowed to drive an ambulance because of vision problems. Years have gone by and in 2004 I had a seizure while being on an emergency call. I was then placed in the office working with the supervisors (secretary). About a year has gone by without any problems until a high rank officer said I can't work there any more because that spot was for "light duty" workers. I was then kicked out and was being put in communication handling 911 calls all over NYC. I had memory problems and could not remember streets, avenue, places or roads so I was kicked out from EMS. I was now out of work due to my TBI.

Now being disabled on SSID I was bored and went on Facebook to keep in touch with my boys, which then gave a fantastic idea which is to start a group for fellow traumatic brain injury survivors. With working on my group for 2 years I posted information about TBI for those who have one.

When I had mine, 20+ years ago, there was no information about TBI and as I started my group the words became more popular because of the wars that caused the military their TBI's. Information and stories are in the news every day and people like reading these stories that other people are going through. This proves "You Are Not Alone".

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