Tell us a little about your trauma story
I was three weeks away from my fifth birthday when I was involved in a car accident on the way to church. The original diagnosis was C-1 complete. I woke up more confused than anything. I fell asleep in our van as we went to church and woke up paralyzed from the neck down.
What was recovery like?
Some of my first memories from after I woke up was of my Mom trying to explain what happened, but that I would be ok. Life was more difficult from then on as I dealt with all the complications that a sci brings with it, but Mom was right in that I would be ok. Recovery was hard, especially as a child that just wanted to play all day rather than do therapy. I'm still not able to walk on my own so I use a wheelchair and I deal with other sci complications, but I'm off the ventilator and can control my left side now. Growing up like this was just something I had to accept and adapt to. Life's had its challenges, but with the help of God and my family, I've been able to live again, albeit differently, and live life abundantly.
Why did you want to get involved with the TSN program? Or Why do you want to share your story with other survivors/loved ones?
I was approached to join TSN and knew I couldn't say no as something similar to a TSN peer visit helped me back in the day. In rehab, a mother and her son with a similar injury to mine were brought in to meet with us. He was young like I was and I got to see him living like a kid, just in a different way due to his sci. I knew then that there was a life ahead of me outside of the hospital. If I could show anyone the same vision of their future that this mother and her son showed me, then I couldn't pass up on joining the TSN.
Watch Zack’s Video Survivor Story here for more pictures and inspiration from Zack.