Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Survivor Stories

Many of the TSN members have shared their experiences about life after injury and the road to recovery. A selection of these stories is listed below. Reading other’s stories can help you connect to others and not feel alone in your recovery. You may also discover some ideas that may be helpful to you. You may wish to read several stories to get a number of perspectives on injury and recovery.

After joining the TSN you can share your own story with others. Writing about your experiences can help both you and others. You can benefit by taking time to reflect on your injury, how you have coped and where you are on the road to recovery. Other folks can benefit by realizing they are not alone in their recovery. If you are already a TSN member, click here to share your story in the community forum. If you have not registered (it’s free), please register now and then you can share your story.

 

Featured Survivor

PAT's Story

On June 25th, 1994 I was getting ready to cross the street when about a 20 mph gust of wind blew off an unsecured section of roof from a building. The 20x25 foot section dropped three stories and hit me like a frisbee. I hit the ground approximately 50 feet down the street, rolled over, sat up and looked down to see my right foot laying on my chest. My first thought was “How am I going to stand up?”. My left leg was barely hanging on with a compound fracture to both the tibia and fibula and three inches of bone shattered. My right elbow was split wide open as was the back of my head. Part of my left hand was crushed just below the thumb. I didn’t even realize that these additional injuries had even occurred… I just found it unbelievable that my right foot was on my chest. I was taken to a local hospital where they re-attached my foot and took care of stabilizing my other injuries. I struggled to live for the next five days and was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital.  

I was taken into surgery soon after arrival for assessment and 10 minutes later they told my wife they would have to take my leg, it was too infected to save. I spent the next two months in the hospital as they reset my left leg, worked on my left hand and continued to little by little to amputate my right leg trying to get above the infection. Finally my leg started healing and the surgeries stopped. Fortunately I was able to keep my knee.

Once I got home I realized that it was going to be a long road to recovery. I had tremendous support from my family and friends. My newly found faith had given me hope that I could move forward in my life. After being home for a month, I returned to the hospital for a week to have a rod put in my left let to stabilize the broken bone. I thought I would be “on my way” after they put in the rod but just before I left to go home I was told I would not be able to put weight on my left leg for about eight months. This was a hard pill to swallow, it took me a number of days just to absorb the news. The physical therapist I had in the hospital started doing home visits to start me forward in my physical recovery. It took months to stretch out my left knee and my toes. I have to say that it was a blessing to have Jeff Tucker as my therapist, he pushed me to my limits and always motivated me in a positive way. I continued to work with him until late the next summer when I was finally able to walk unassisted once again.... Read more

Brian

My story begins one month after graduating from high school. I was coming home from swim practice, and I was involved in a near fatal car accident. The impact of the crash shifted my heart across my chest and collapsed my lungs. Just like my dreams for the future... Read More

Jason

On March 1, 2008, while riding an ATV around his grandfather’s farm, Jason came in contact with a power line that was down. 7200 volts of electricity rushed through his body leading to severe traumatic injuries. Jason was air lifted...Read More 

David

While riding his bicycle home from school at lunch to feed his dog, David was t-boned by a distracted driver who ran a red light at a busy intersection. His body slammed into the windshield, launched 10 feet into the air and crashed into the pavement... Read More

Colleen

In October 2011, I had been married to my high school sweet heart for a year.  I had already gone through brain surgery and a diagnosis of Lupus. We had recently moved and started new jobs together...  Read More

Austin

My name is Austin and I was involved in a single car accident my senior year of high school on September 1st, 2014.  I was on my way to work after a normal day of hanging out with my family on Labor Day... Read More

Chonci

As a tree surgeon March 22, 2016 was a beautiful day to be climbing. I was at the top of a very mature pine tree and descended between 50 to 60 feet to finish removing the top from over a home... Read More

Sgt. Russell

My story began on March 13, 2012. As a Tennessee Highway Patrol Sergeant, I was making a routine traffic stop in the middle of the night, and my car was hit by a tractor-trailer... Read More

NICK

Nick was involved in a motorcycle crash in April 2015. He had a lengthy hospital course, being discharged... Read More

Jimmy

My name is Jimmy and I was the victim of multiple gun shots. In October 2015, I was admitted to University of Tennessee Medical Center... Read More

Rachel

On September 16th, 2013, I was on my way back to work. I had been at a post-natal doctor’s appointment... Read More

Stephen

I was in a high speed motorcycle wreck June 21st 2009. I was going 130mph on my Sportbike on the interstate... Read More

Patty

On May 9, 2011 my work day started out as most days with a meeting at a local coffee shop with a few co-workers ... Read More

Bruce

In February of 1985, I was in a single car accident which left me a C6-C7 incomplete quad. But first, a little back ground. I was born in Michigan..Read More

 

DOUG

A few days after Christmas 2013, I was repairing a window in our home. Unfortunately, in the process I fell out of the window... Read More

 

Nanette

During the summer of 2005, Nan Reilly was enjoying a day at the beach with her family and friends. It was a wonderful day until ... Read More

 

  Chris

 On November 30th, 2011, after an intense morning of working with my son and his autism therapy team, I decided to go into our local climbing gym... Read More

Shannon

During the summer before my senior year of high school, I woke up one day with not a clue in the world that it could have been my last day...Read More 

PAT

On June 25th, 1994 I was getting ready to cross the street when about a 20 mph gust of wind blew off an unsecured section of roof....Read More

PHIL

In December 2011 I survived a major accident with the terrific help of Dr Toan Huynh and the Trauma Team at Carolinas Medical Center ins......Read More

MARK

October 31, 2011: Halloween. A day that will forever be etched in my memory. I rode my Harley Davidson to work that morning...Read More

ROB

On August 23, 2005 I was in a motorcycle accident. To this day I still don’t remember the accident but have been told by a witness I knew...Read More

JEANNE

September 21, 2010. The day I thought my life was over. The day I thought I would never walk again. The day I thought I would never hold or be...Read More

PAUL

My name is Paul Peterson. I am 21 years old above knee amputee. I have been involved in several sports since I was a child. Track and field...Read More

BRUCE

This is my story of losing a lot but gaining much more at the same time. My motor vehicle accident occurred on June 2, 2006. This.. Read More

HOWARD

It was September 12, 2010. I was out partying with some friends. We received a call from a friend of one my friends to see if we wanted... Read More

GREG

My injury occurred in March 1994. I went for a mountain bike ride on some local trails. At one point I went down a short steep hill, hit some... Read More

MIKE

The cause of my trauma was from a motor vehicle accident June 11, 2009. I was extricated and airlifted to University of MD Shock Trauma... Read More

SCOTT

Scott had two semesters left in graduate business school in August 2001, when a car, traveling at high speed, hit him when he was walking in a street… Read More

CARRIE

I arrived home after my first year at Roanoke College. It was a fun and exciting year. I played field hockey and lacrosse, took part in the Outdoor Adventures Club, and had made many new friends… Read More

STEVE

My trauma experience happened Nov 20th 1982. A friend and I were traveling home from a mutual friend’s house. Another driver, who had fallen asleep at the wheel… 
Read More

BOB

In March 1991, I was in a head-on car crash with both cars going approximately 60 mph. I had my two sons (ages 3 and 13) with me… Read More

ADAM

The bell rang at 3:00 p.m., signifying the end of another day in my life. I was a high-school senior, the captain of the track team, and had to hurry and change for practice… Read More

 

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