Our tbi journey began when Amy was hit by a car in October 2012. She was rushed to the nearest ICU, where emergency craniectomy was performed to relieve swelling from extreme trauma. We were catapulted into the world of tbi — it turned our lives upside down; urgently we needed to know everything about brain rehabilitation.
Since then we have learned much about the complexities of tbi, this site will share our ongoing discoveries. We hope you’ll share yours with us so we can all learn and recover together.
The following story is the text of a speech Amy presented in the Summer of 2016
Thank you, Capitol Toastmasters, for inspiring me to tell why I struggle to speak.
My whole life, I chose hard goals. At 12, I was accepted by a strict, disciplined Russian ballet school. After I graduated, I danced in 4 ballet companies.
We’d rehearse over…and over — and then — performance! Scared!
But we smiled — even with blistered feet or bleeding toes; it was a challenge! And I loved it.
Then, October 2012, I was hit by a car.
Suddenly I had way more challenges.
I couldn’t breathe; I was in a coma; doctors and machines kept me alive.
A piece of my skull was…gone!
A big piece of my memory was gone, too…
I had to re-learn…to swallow; to move my right arm; to sit up; use a wheelchair; walk with a cane – then, finally – on my own!
But the most difficult problem is aphasia.
My injury was on the left side of my brain – the communication center.
I couldn’t remember words, alphabet, numbers. So I couldn’t read, write, do math. I couldn’t understand what people say.
Four years later, I’m strong enough to practice ballet. I’m learning to play piano – one handed.
I’m re-learning words, grammar, speaking. I memorized the words in this speech, because I struggle to speak spontaneously.
Thank you again to Capitol Toastmasters, and thank you to my family and friends, for your encouragement and support. I love you all.