Curious as to what brain injury looks like? Please allow me to take you back to a different time; the year 1998 to be exact. That was when my life turned upside down in 3 seconds!

I had just finished graduating a year early from high school, had college scholarships, my soccer jersey was retired, the awards ceremony speech I gave received a standing ovation, and I gave a graduation speech. I was working two jobs to start paying for college, where I would graduate and become the next Billy Graham. You heard that right; I was going to be a preacher, and a popular one I might add.

I was headed home from work when a dump truck pulled out while I was traveling at 40 miles per hour; I t-boned him in the rear axle. I was slumped over, suffocating in my own blood while the driver calmly walked away to call someone! A nursing couple nearby was able to stabilize me until the ambulance arrived. Due to the severity of my brain injury, I was operated on for 5 ½ hours while my parents and two nurses held me down. They operated on me twice in 48 hours. The doctors thought I would need a third operation due to spinal fluid leaking, but they were afraid my body could not handle the stress. Thankfully, they did a spinal tap and that negated needing a third operation.

Our family thought all was well. I would rest a little, and get back to life. Then we got a sudden wake-up call of what brain injury looks like. I had sensitive hearing, could not put sentences together, logical thought was near impossible, and I was sleeping 16 hours a day. Through our attorneys we were connected with Dr. Gregory O’Shanick and it was his team that helped get me where I am today. Through many hard days and long hours of speech and occupational therapy, they were able to put the pieces back together.

Where am I now? I’ve completed college, been married 13 years, have a six-year-old daughter, and am working in the insurance industry! The therapy that helped me the most was life. Yes, my family, doctors, and therapists did an amazing job helping and supporting me! They definitely have my thanks! However, what life threw at me helped regain what I lost. Each situation gave me lessons to learn from. Many of those were learned through failing, but I learned to do it better next time. That’s where I am now I want to help other people who suffer from TBI through my story and experiences. I started a blog at dontmindme130.com and robertmccallumdontmindme/facebook.com for that very purpose.

Robert McCallum