• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Theodore Brackett

Hello, my name is Theodore Brackett, my accident happened on September 5, 2005 (Labor Day). 

I was priming my house, to be able to paint when I return from school, for the day.  I was almost at the top of my 10-ft. step ladder and it overturned.  I landed on my back, on my paved driveway.  My late wife heard me yell.  She ran to where I was lying and found that I was not breathing and that my heart had stopped.  She screams for my neighbor.  They performed CPR and my heard started in about 6 minutes.

I was transported to crisis emergency. 

I went into a coma while being transported.  At the hospital, the emergency personnel started a complete body examination.  The results were: a broken shoulder, 5 broken ribs, from the CPR, a fractured skull, my brain had contacted the Brain Stem (heart stopped), The brain bounced to the right and my frontal and lateral lobes were damaged. It then bounced across to the left side and my frontal and lateral lobe was damaged, as well.

For just an aside, X-rays, c-scan, and MRI completed, the doctors also told my wife that they found a cancer, in my right kidney. The coma, from the accident lasted 9 days.  The doctors told my wife that I was seriously injured, I would be placed in intensive care.  They would do everything they could, but there was a chance that I might not survive.

I did become conscious, but I was still serious.  I could not walk, I could not speak, I could not move, very well, and I had no idea where I was.  Doctors told my wife that with the damage, to my brain, I could remain a vegetable and live in a nursing home.

After 1 month, I was transferred to a rehabilitation center.  I was at the center for 2 months.  During this time, I did make good progress.  I was in intensive therapy. I was in PT, to help me, to get out, of the wheel chair and, to be able, to walk in a straight line, and ascend and descend stairs, I did OT, to strengthen my upper body and, to help me stop my hands, from shaking, and SpT, to work on my speech, reading and writing.  All these problems were from damage to different parts of my brain. 

One on the problems, was my communication center was seriously damaged.

I was discharged, to return home, rest o gather strength, so that I could have my right kidney removed. In 2 weeks, I started outpatient therapy.  I was in PT for 16 months, OT for 18 months (the last 2 months was teaching me the rules for driving) and SpT for 2 years.

I have been told that I am reading, writing, and speaking, from somewhere else, in my brain, the communication center is not working well or maybe not at all. I passed the road test, to be able to drive, my right hand does shake some when I get nervous, and I am able to read, write, and speak well. 

I do have symptoms from the injury.  I do get fatigued, my short-term memory is not good, I have to pay attention, on people or automobiles approaching, I perseverate, my anxiety and emotions have been affected, PTSD has been exacerbated, and so has my depression.  Medication, psychological therapy, hard work have help a great deal, for me to learn techniques to handle these problems.

With the discovery of my new life, Brain Injury is my work now!  I am a member of a support group, I am in a group names VOICES, to do presentation, help prepare support group meetings, talk to groups about Brain Injury, and do peer mentoring, to help new patients deal with their own BI.  I am unable to teach in public school, due to my injury and symptoms, but I do teach again concerning Brain Injury.

Thank you for the opportunity to join this inspirational Family!

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