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

Jeff's Story

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 red stop light near our home. My vehicle was then pushed into and wrapped around a concrete pole. During this second impact, I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) when my head hit the aforementioned utility pole.

What was recovery like?

Now, honestly, I can't remember much of what took place for for the first few weeks following my brain injury. Yet there is one thing I can vividly recall. I remember being told over and over again that people who'd suffered an injury like mine would need to find their “new normal," because who they were before was a thing of the past.

But I refused to believe what they were telling me. From the very start, my goal was to return to my old normal, to regain my former self, to simply go back to living my old life.

I wanted to be the same husband.

I wanted to be the same father.

I wanted to be the same son.

I wanted to be the same friend.

I wanted to be the same doctor.

I wanted to have the same personality.

I wanted to have the same hobbies.

And because I grew up having the mindset that anything was possible with enough hard work, determination, I was extremely confident in my chances of getting back every single one of these. But after months of doing all I could to get back what I’d lost, I finally came to a very humbling realization. The normal I knew, the normal I’d grown used to, the normal I was comfortable with had left and it wasn’t coming back.

After this epiphany, I did something I never thought I'd do... Read more

Tim

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

Rachel

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

Kimiko

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

Jessica

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

Jeff

On May 3rd, 2012, I miraculously survived a near-fatal car accident when my truck was struck by another truck... Read more

Dylan

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

Danielle

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

Courtney

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

Carly

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

mackenzie

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

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 

Watch Jason's Video

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

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

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

Watch Doug's Video

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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