TBI One Love Survivor Valerie Jo Smith

April 20, 2016

 

 

I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH! PHILIPPIANS 4:13 HELLO, MY NAME IS VALERIE-JO SMITH. I AM A 52 YEAR OLD MOTHER OF TWO ADULT CHILDREN & 4 FOUR GRAND CHILDREN, SO FAR. MY TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY JOURNEY BEGAN ON AUGUST 15, 1989. I WAS IN AN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENT THAT RESULTED IN A CLOSED HEAD INJURY. THE BRAIN SWELLING CAUSED A BLOOD VESSEL TO RUPTURE CAUSING BLEEDING IN THE BRAIN, OR A CARDIOVASCULAR ACCIDENT. THE RESULT IS THAT I HAVE LEFT SIDED HEMIPLEGIA; WHICH IS MY WHOLE BODY IS PARALYZED ON THE LEFT SIDE. I WAS IN A COMA FOR TWO WEEKS & THEN PLACED ON A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA FOR TWO MORE WEEKS MAKING IT A MONTH TOTAL. UPON FIRST WAKING UP FROM THE COMA I ONLY HAVE VAGUE MEMORIES OF FAMILY MEMBERS BEING WITH ME, BUT I DID NOT KNOW WHY OR WHERE THIS WAS OR WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT AS I DRIFTED IN & OUT. AS I WOKE UP MORE & FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME, I FOUND MYSELF IN THE HOSPITAL. I WAS UNABLE TO SPEAK & WE DISCOVERED I WAS LEGALLY BLIND AFTER SOME TIME & TESTING. MY VISION HAS IMPROVED & HEALED SOME SINCE THAT TIME, THANK GOD. I STILL HAVE A PERIPHERAL DEFICET IN BOTH EYES & HAVE FLOATERS. I HAD TO RE-LEARN EVERYTHING!!!! FROM SITTIING UP TO WALKING, USING THE BATHROOM/CONTENANCE TO MY ABCS’OF READING, & WALKING TO TALKING. WHEN I LEFT THE HOSPITAL, AFTER 3 MONTHS OF REHABILITATION (SPEECH, PHYSICAL, & OCCUPATIONAL); I HAD TO LEARN TO DO EVERYTHING LEFTHANDED NOW WHEN I HAD FORMERLY BEEN RIGHT-HANDED. BRAIN INJURY IS A LIFELONG RECOVERY JOURNEY, BUT IF YOU STICK WITH IT, KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, & LOOK AT WHAT YOU CAN STILL DO & GIVE, EVENTUALLY YOU CAN DISCOVER A NEW LIFE & JOYS. WHILE LEARNING ALL MY DAILY LIVING ACTIVITIES, I ALSO HAD TWO CHILDREN TO RAISE WHO WERE 8 MONTHS & 1 ½ YEARS TO RAISE. I KNOW THAT LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME; BUT I PRAY, HOPE, & STRIVE FOR THE ABILITY TO MAKE A NEW & BETTER LIFE PLAN; ONE DAY & ONE SMALL ACHIEVEMENT AT A TIME.I LEARNED TO MOURN THE LOSS OF THE USE OF MY LIMBS & EVERYTHING THAT RESULTED FROM MY BRAIN INJURY. MY CHILDREN WERE A BLESSING TO ME IN MY RECOVERY BECAUSE THEY MOTIVATED ME TO GET BETTER FOR THEM & KEPT THE FOCUS OFF OF ME. I MOVED INTO MY PARENTS HOUSE WITH MY CHILDREN. MY PARENTS & SIBLINGS WERE A GODSEND & WERE BY MY SIDE THE WHOLE TIME, GIVING ME THE COURAGE, HOPE, FAITH, & STRENGTH TO PICK MYSELF UP & BEGIN A NEW LIFE. MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME BY HER OWN LIFE EXAMPLE, THAT LIFE WAS OUT THERE & DEFINITELY WORTH LIVING. I WAS STILL TO GO AFTER ALL THAT LIFE OFFERS & THAT GOD HAS A WONDERFUL PLAN FOR MY LIFE. JERAMIAH 29:11 AFTER ABOUT 1 YEAR LATER I MOVED OUT ON MY OWN WITH MY CHILDREN. I STRUGGLED TO DO THE ENTIRE DAILY LIVING ACTIVITIES & STILL BE THE MOTHER I ONCE WAS & STILL WANTED TO BE AGAIN. THERE ARE MANY STRUGGLES & SADDNESS BUT ALSO MANY JOYS.I WAS GLAD TO BE HOME WITH THEM. AS THEY GREW & DEMANDED LESS OF MY PHYSICAL TIME, BUT ALWAYS MY EMOTIONAL LOVE, I BEGAN TO LOOK FOR OTHER WAY IN WHICH TO REACH OUT. I HAVE VOLUNTEERED & WORKED FOR A FEW DIFFERENT PLACES THE DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER, CAREGIVING IN A PRIVATE HOME, THE BRAIN INJURY PEER VISITOR ASSOCIATION, & AVITA COMMUNITY PARTNERS. CURRENTLY I AM CO-FACILITATING AT SADDLEBACK CHURCH BRAIN INJUURY SUPPORT GROUP. MY CURRENT GOAL IS TO PROVIDE FAITH, ENCOURAGEMENT, EMPATHY, & EDUCATION THROUGH MY PERSONAL LIFE WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS THAT ARE MY WORLD. I LOVE & FEEL HONORED TO BE PART OF ANY FOUNDATION THAT REACHES OUT TO PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE WITH OTHERS, NETWORKING & EDUCATING, SO THAT NO ONE WOULD FEEL HOPELESS & ALONE.I KNOW THAT IN MY GIVING, I ALWAYS RECEIVE BACK THE SAME OR MORE ENCOURAGEMENT & THAT MY LIFE & FAMILY ARE IMPORTANT & WORTHWHILE. I AM STILL ABLE TO HAVE DREAMS & REALIZE THEM AS I REACH OUT TO HAVE A FULL LIFE & MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THROUGH GOD, WHO HAS BEEN WITH ME THROUGH IT ALL, I HAVE FOUND THAT HIS PLANS ARE ALWAYS BETTER THAN MINE; & I HAVE JOY, HAPPINESS, & PEACE THAT PASSEES ALL UNDERSTANDING.I CURRENTLY LIVE WITH MY TWIN SISTER WHO IS MY BEST FRIEND & THE MOST EXCELLENT CARE-GIVER.

 

 

 

 

Please reload

Recent Members:
Please reload