• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Kara Curley

Hello, my name is Kara Curley.

Back when I was 25 during January 4th of 2013, one day I attended the funeral of a friend of mine’s mother. My friend’s mother had passed due to a brain aneurysm. A few of us from work attended the funeral to show our friend support. After the service a couple of us went out all day because we had gotten the day off from work. It was about 2 am when I decided to go home.

I was leaving the downtown mall area where I live when I crashed my car into a tree. It is unknown if I fell into a coma causing the crash or if I crashed causing me to go into a coma. Regardless, I crashed my little ice blue Mazda 3 into a tree along the center of the road. The driver’s side door of my car banged into one tree causing me to go straight into another tree.

At this point, my car was totaled. I was unconscious, with a Traumatic Brain Injury from the intense banging around. The left side of my body was all bruised up full of broken bones and lacerations. I had to have 3 rods put in my left hip to hold it back together. As well as pins, and rods in my left wrist. I had staples in my chin, knee, and ankle. My hip break damaged my peroneal nerve and sciatic nerve, causing foot drop in my left foot.

My Traumatic Brain Injury was caused from a bang to the right side of my head. My brain got so shaken up that it swelled. The doctors had to drill a hole in my skull to relieve pressure, as there were no lacerations to my skull. I had gotten an acute frontal lobe brain injury. I had never before even heard of a brain injury before I got one.

I do not remember a single thing from that day, the year before, or the 6 weeks I was in the hospital. I don’t remember much these days. Every event I just told you are things I was told happened. I really wasn’t there so I couldn’t tell you. I lost a lot from that car accident. Not just material items like my car and everything in it, but I lost myself and everything that entailed. Before any of this happened, I was always surrounded by people. I hated being alone and people seemed to want to be around me.

After all of this happened, I do not like being around people and they don’t seem to want to be around me. I am told that a lot of people came to see me in the hospital. Friends, family, coworkers, even customers from the pub I worked at came to visit bringing gifts. Once I finally got home from the hospital, and I wasn’t so highly medicated, people stopped showing up and calling.

Less than a year after my accident I returned to my college classes. I was getting perfect scores taking it one class a semester. Also around that same time I returned to working at the pub. I was still limited in things I could physically do, so they just let me work as a hostess. I loved being back in school and back to work but so much had changed, it seemed.

The pub decided to turn fancy so all the regular customers stopped coming in and a lot of the staff quit or was fired. So I was back to work but also back to being alone. Before too long the pub closed down and I was back to no work. I was still excelling in college… one class at a time.

Now, it has been just over 4 years and I have unsuccessfully attempted new jobs twice. I am still a college student, working on my 12 year Associate’s degree. I am definitely doing better. I have my highs and extreme lows but I always get back up and on track.

My days are spent driving my boyfriend to and from work and taking care of our kitty cats, Aria and Poptart.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this movement TBI One Love!

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