On the night of August 11, 1967 my dad, mom, brother and myself were in an automobile accident that forever changed our lives. Per my injuries, when the Cadillac hit our Volkswagen Beetle I was catapulted from the back seat. In the process of being thrown forward I fractured my left femur (thigh bone) on my dad’s bucket seat and then made direct contact with the inside of the windshield. Consequently, I sustained an open skull fracture. I remained in a coma for 3 weeks and in traction to set my left femur for 6-7 weeks.
When my skull was fractured my right frontal lobe — location of the brain that controls executive center function — absorbed the initial brunt of the contact where my skull was fractured. Additionally, I sustained a severe brain contusion as my brain was jostled about inside my skull — coup contra coup. In addition to the damage to my right frontal lobe, I sustained a severe brain contusion — as my brain was jostled about in my skull — coup contra coup. From the records I found out that my brain stem — attention, arousal, and consciousness, as well as being the gateway of brain function for the body — had also been affected subsequent to my skull being fractured.
Once I regained consciousness, completed traction to set left femur , and placed in a Spica — full body cast — I was transferred to another hospital where I under went brain and skull surgery. Following surgery I was transferred back to the first hospital. Several weeks I was released from the hospital and taken home. I remained in the Spica cast for 4-5 months. After being taken out of the cast I attended several physical therapy appointments. Because neurological rehabilitation was not available in 1967 I had to re-teach myself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences with the encouragement of my family.
In follow-up to my brain and skull surgery and after learning how to walk again I had several EEG’s completed and a series of cognitive and psycho social tests done to determine the extent of brain injury. The results from these tests were shared with my parents, but not with me. Years later I would find out that the EEG’s and test results indicated that I would probably not be able to succeed beyond high school academically.
Although the data and scientific findings predicted that I would be probably be unable to succeed academically beyond high school, I went on to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Due to the invisible and unknown nature of my disability — for some 35 years post injury — the impact of my brain injury remained hidden from me. Consequently I had to develop strategies in order to succeed despite the injuries to my brain. On February 6, 2007 — at the encouragement of a friend — I created Second Chance to Live to share the strategies and principles that I have learned and applied to my process. These strategies have helped me to succeed beyond all reasonable expectations.
My hope is that as you read through the articles that I have written and published on Second Chance to Live you will be inspired to dream again. The applications presented on Second Chance to Live illustrate and provide practical solutions for living life on life’s terms — and in the process finding and then living our destinies.
If you have any questions / concerns or I may be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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