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


“Don’t get up you were hit by a car…,” fluttering eyelids, jolting me out of the empty darkness.  Blurred green, yellow, blue, and gray colors.  The wind faintly whispered “You were biking in Fulshear….”  I quickly sank back into the dark, empty void.

Minutes before 8:30am on July 11, 2015, I rode my road bicycle into Fulshear Texas, a then-small rural town just outside the western-edge of Houston.  It is a route that I had done dozens of times over the past three years as I trained for Ironman triathlons and the annual MS 150.   I felt exceptionally strong after two-hours.  The coolish morning temperature was a relief for early July.  The light and warmth of the sun rays bolstered my spirit..  A few groups of bikers passed heading the opposite direction.  There were virtual a handful of cars on the road.   What a perfect day to resume bike training for the November Half Ironman in Austin, I recall thinking.

Passing the American flag next to the Fulshear Post Office, I remembered my appointment later in the morning to help my daughter with her college bank account for her first year in college.  I increased my tempo to 20 mph, as recorded on my Garmin Triathlon watch, in a sprint to the only stop light in town a mere mile down the carless road.

A blue Town and Country minivan sped up on the opposite side of the road.  The driver quickly turned left onto 4th Street, one block south of the post office.  Seeing bikers, she was trying to “beat the bikers” as she shakenly confessed to the police later.   She turned the minivan at roughly 30 mph right directly in front of the path of my bike... Read more


My accident occurred on October 16, 2010.  I was 27 years old at the time, recently married just earlier that year and I was a second-year pediatric... Read more


I am pleased to share with you how I went from a crash survivor to creating a support group.  One week prior to my crash,... Read more


I do not remember the day of my accident, but the stories are scary. My husband told me that we were making... Read more


In April of 2017 I was on my way home from work, minding my own business. I was riding my motorcycle... Read more


I never thought I would be grateful for a charley horse, but, well, life is weird. On Saturday, June 8th, 2019, Daphne... Read more


My name is Kimberly.  And I am a two time trauma patient.  One left me with facial paralysis and the other left me fighting for my life.. Read more


On May 3rd, 2012, I miraculously survived a near-fatal car accident when my truck was struck by another truck that failed to stop at a 4-way flashing... Read more


The accident occurred in Kentucky while driving in my truck and around 12:30 am, a deer came off the hill and across the road... Read more


My name is Rachel and my accident happened May 13, 2018, which also happened to be Mother’s Day. While riding an electric rentable scooter... Read more


I WAS a victim.  I am a statistic.  More importantly, I am a survivor and an advocate. March 18, 2017 will be a date that I will never forget... Read more


My name is Dylan and I’m 26 years old. In November of 2016, I made a big move from Connecticut to San Diego... Read more


I'm so grateful to have a life that makes me happy, an amazing husband, a career that gives me so much fulfillment and... Read more


On November 11, 2016 my life changed in more ways than one. It all started out as a normal day. I had gone to work that day... Read more


On August 17, 2002, while working for the National Park Service as a wildland firefighter, I was deployed to a large wildfire in Oregon when I haphazardly fell about 20-25 feet down a ravine, into a river nearly drowning...Read more


On November 5, 2016 I was hanging out with friends and fell from the balcony. I was 3 stories up, and as a result of my fall, sustained a T-12 spinal cord injury (SCI). When I woke up I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)...  Read more


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


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 

Watch Jason's Video


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


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


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

Watch Chonci's Video

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


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


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


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


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


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



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

Watch Doug's Video


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



 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




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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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 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


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


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


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



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