Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the

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

Stephen's Story

I was in a high speed motorcycle wreck June 21st 2009. I was going 130mph on my Sportbike on the interstate. A state trooper on the other side of the road saw me and hit his lights. I looked behind me to see what he was going to do and when I did, a SUV way up the road changed into the lane I was speeding in and I hit the side of the SUV. Things go fast at 130! The damage to my upper limbs resulted in bilateral arm amputations. I have come to realize that trauma comes in all shapes and sizes. It most definitely happens when you least expect it. The mental aspect is critical when overcoming trauma because it's normally easy to be negative and hard to be positive for most people.

Surviving Trauma is what you make of it. For me, I felt blessed to be alive, reminded myself constantly that it could have been worse! Don't get me wrong, I had my moments of sadness. But once you realize what happened to you and can accept it, that is when the real recovery process starts. Lucky for me, I had a great support group with constant encouragement through family and friends! You can do one of two things in trauma. You can wallow in your sorrow or you can MAN UP! Sometimes you have to man up and move on with life because life is too short and it’s a very precious thing.

I became an AMPOWER peer visitor soon after I was home from the hospital. I had a quad amputee come visit me in the hospital who was part the program and his visit made a huge impact in my recovery process! He lost both arms and legs and could still drive, do farm work, be self-sufficient, and was in his mid-60's! I was thinking, “I don't have anything to complain about.” If he could do it, I knew I could recover too. I feel obligated to peer visit folks because I personally know how helpful it is especially in the early stages of the recovery process... 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



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


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 


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


On May 13, 2012, at around 2 PM, I fell 28 feet off a roof. I landed in a “bang, bang, 1-2-3-4” manner: lower back, upper back...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… 
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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


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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