• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Josh Mares

Hello my name is Joshua Mares-Nieves from Orange County, Ca. I am 24 years old. My Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI, totally changed my life.

I was 19 when I got into a bad car accident. My head immediately shot forward shattered my front windshield, then shot back and to left and right. Immediately I went on unconscious.

The police and ambulance showed up first but before they could do anything they had to call the fire department to remove the driver side of my car to get me out. Ambulance had to bag mask me because they said I stopped breathing.

I was rushed to the hospital and immediately went under brain surgery. The surgery was finished. I slipped into a coma for 6 weeks. The doctor told my mom that there is a possibility that I may not wake up.

6 weeks later I woke up from my coma. It was like I was a new born baby all over again. I had to learn all over again how to swallow, how to go to the restroom, to walk, to talk, to do basic things over again.

I pretty much lost all of my friends. Out of all of my so called friends, only 1 of them stood right by my side through everything and is still right by my side today.

Prior to my car accident I was working for the County of Orange at social services. I lost the job. I was a part time student at my local community college, I was dropped from the courses I was taking.

Now, today, I suffer from: my whole right side is my weak side, I need to wear a brace around my right leg to help me walk properly, have very difficult time sleeping, have short and long term memory loss.

Yes my accident was bad but I have learned to accept my TBI and bring out the positives and put them in front of the negatives. I went back to college and I am taking a classes at my community college.

I can't work but I volunteer. I am a motivational speaker at a hospital where I live for people with a TBI and I am in a Brain Injury Support Group.

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