• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Tyler McConnell

Hello, my name is Ms. Jessica Mcconnell. On January 10th of 2014 my son Tyler at the age of 6 our Family and his life changed immediately forever!

Tyler pulled over a heavy oak bookcase on himself. Since I was cooking I wasn’t in the same room he was, so we figure he was trying to put a new DVD in the DVD player. I heard the crash and immediately sent my husband to check on our kids. What I heard next was to call 911 and that blood was coming from Tyler’s ear.

As soon as my husband brought our son upstairs I saw our boy was unconscious. Fast forward to the hospital and we were told our son had sustained a TBI and a trauma induced stroke. The doctor in the ER that night told us Tyler’s best bet at recovery was to be put in a coma and let him sleep. You see the nerve that was bleeding had stopped which was good but they couldn’t do surgery because it would cause more damage.

Tyler was in a medically induced coma for a week and a half. Midweek of the 2nd week the doctors began lowering all the medications that kept him asleep and end of week 2 he came of the ventilator. Week 3 began some therapy for Tyler. OT, PT, and Speech would all come in and work with him. At the age of 6 my little boy was like a newborn baby. He couldn’t eat, talk, walk, or even hold his head up. At the end of week 3 he was moved to a Children’s Hospital in KC, MO and there he spent 5 weeks doing intensive therapy.

From 8-12 and 1-3 Monday-Friday and 8-12 on Saturday he was going through a lot of therapies and seeing a lot of specialists. They honestly didn’t know if he would ever walk or talk again but they didn’t give up hope. I’m thankful to say that they didn’t give up on him because he did learn to do everything all over again. 

Fast forward to today 8/30/17 we are almost 4 yrs. into this journey. It hasn’t been the greatest journey but it also hasn’t been the worst.

Tyler did have a stroke so the right side of his body is a little weaker. He attends therapy to work on hand movement in hopes he will get some back. He just completed constraint therapy this summer, which helped some. We took him fishing the other day and he used his right hand to reel in the line. Tyler gets BOTOX injections in his arm and leg every 3 months. The most damage happened to the part of his brain that deals with short-term memory so even on medications he struggles. Tyler wears a hearing aid in his left ear due to the force of the blow to the head from the book case it knocked his middle ear bone loose. Surgery was done to try and repair it but it didn't help.  He also has acquired OCD and ADD due to the TBI and is on medications for that.

Tyler had surgery last March on both legs: the right hip they rotated it so it lined up to where it should be and inserted a rod. His left leg is growing faster than the right so they added a plate to the left leg so it will stop growing. In about 2yrs or whenever his right leg catches up he will get the rod and the plates taken out. We are also in the midst of talking about a surgery on his hand to help his fingers relax more but this isn’t something we are going to do until he is ready.

Of course, since he has a TBI he tires very easily. The beginning of this summer we finally got to talk to a doctor about possible seizures and they confirmed that. 

Do not tell Tyler what he can and can’t do because he is a very motivated kid and more than likely will prove you wrong. He is funny, kind and smart. He loves to swim, go fishing and ride his special bike.

Thank you TBI One Love, for letting us join this helpful Family!

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