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e-book The Angel Inside: A Young Womans Healing Journey Through Coma and Brain Injury

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Don't continue to suffer. You can feel better now! I have seen immediate improvement with accident and crime victims, firefighters, policemen, war veterans, abuse victims, etc. The unique techniques I use are very effective with those struggling with the death of a loved one, a frightening medical or dental experience, divorce or breakup, job loss, and all types of fears flying, medical procedure, driving, public speaking etc. Find Psychiatrists in Newnan, GA. Amanda Hannon Psychologist , PhD. I find that women in particular can struggle with allowing themselves the space and freedom to not only voice their needs, but to move towards meeting these needs and recognizing long-held goals and desires.

My goal is to help you understand yourself more deeply and provide you with a balance of challenge and compassion as we identify your needs and goals. Are they are acting out, withdrawing, or more defiant than normal and when you try to talk to them, you hit a brick wall and you want to help, but are not sure how to? Are you a veteran trying to readjust to civilian life and civilian employment? Are people you love voicing concern about your substance use?

Is your emotional baggage piling up and you do not know how to sort through things? Does your adolescent or young adult need help with social skills? Are you feeling overwhelmed by a life change? I would like to help work through these difficult times with you. Hello, my name is Trey Twiford. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I provide services to adults, couples, and families across a variety of issues. My passion is to aid and guide couples and families to rebuild relationships. The answers are never out there, but instead are inside you waiting to be discovered.

I believe we all have the power to heal, no matter how deep our wounds may be! Tony Johnson Psychologist , PhD. I emphasize practical, research-based, results-oriented methods, and I am described by my clients as warm, friendly, informal, and "easygoing".

I believe that the seeds of change are first planted through safe relationships where one can be open and honest without judgement. Creating a supportive environment for my clients to process and grow is what I love most about therapy. I have worked with children, adolescents, and adults on a variety of mental health issues, including mood disorders, behavioral disorders, trauma, and relationship problems.

It would be an honor and a privilege to walk with you on your journey. I have over 20 years experience working with children and families. House utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy Treatment. This is a problem focused approach designed to help people identify and change their dysfunctional beliefs, thoughts, and patterns of behavior that contribute to their problems. Individuals who receive outpatient mental health services that target goal directed interventions for diagnosable conditions make gains in symptom reduction, improved self management, and restored or enhanced daily functioning.

Brenda L. Some people go through life feeling lost or stuck, struggling in their relationships and careers, not understanding what is happening or why they feel the way they do. Whether clients are feeling distressed, overwhelmed or discouraged from a current situation or a chronic problem that never seems to get resolved, I help them find the courage and confidence to overcome challenges and reach for their goals.

Do you feel unhealthy and stressed out? My therapy focuses on positive psychology and how to help people find a healthy lifestyle. Using this model, I have developed a type of therapy that focuses on helping people achieve health in mind, body and soul. My hope is that by finding solutions and working out those solutions life will get better.

I work to help people find their own inner strength and hope along life's sometimes difficult journey. Common factors had been ruled out. Reporters had found that some came from stable, financially secure families; police had ruled out drugs or major robbery, and most had no criminal records. On April 26, , the New York Times published a cautionary editorial against the use of labels and questioning why such "well-adjusted youngsters" could have committed such a "savage" crime. But at the time, the theory of the gang rape continued. After the major media's decisions to print the names, photos, and addresses of the juvenile suspects, they and their families received serious threats.

Other residents living at the Schomburg Plaza, where four suspects lived, were also threatened. Because of this, editors of the City Sun and the Amsterdam News chose to use Meili's name in their own continuing coverage of the events. Reverend Calvin O. Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem , who came to support the five suspects, said to The New York Times , "The first thing you do in the United States of America when a white woman is raped is round up a bunch of black youths, and I think that's what happened here.

On May 1, , Donald Trump , a real estate magnate, called for the return of the death penalty in full-page advertisements published in all four of the city's major newspapers. Trump said he wanted the "criminals of every age" who were accused of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park 12 days earlier "to be afraid".

I do not think so. I want to hate these muggers and murderers. They should be forced to suffer Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will. How can our great society tolerate the continued brutalization of its citizens by crazed misfits? According to defendant Yusef Salaam, quoted in a February article in The Guardian , Trump "was the fire starter" in , as "common citizens were being manipulated and swayed into believing that we were guilty. Six youths were indicted in the attack and rape of the female jogger the media continued to withhold Meili's identity, which was common practice for victims of sex crimes , and additional charges related to the attack and robbery of John Loughlin: [6] [32].

Each of the youths pleaded "Not guilty. The two other youths under 16 were returned to a juvenile facility to be held there until trial. Four of the six youths who were indicted for the rape lived at the Schomburg Plaza, Fifth Avenue, at the northeast corner of Central Park near th Street; two lived further north of there.

The ones at Schomburg included friends Salaam and Wise, who lived in the northwest tower, [45] [46] and Kevin Richardson and Steve Lopez, who knew the others from the neighborhood. The two other defendants lived further north of there. Designed for families, the complex was built in and was partially subsidized by the city and federal government; it had households, in apartments ranging in size from studios to five bedrooms.

Four of the five had confessed to police about other attacks, including robbery and assault, to which they said they were witnesses or participants, which were committed in the park in other areas on the night of April These statements were produced as a result of continued questioning also about the assault to the female jogger, and interwoven with comments about that.

Their videotaped confessions covered both areas. Salaam's unsigned statement also covered the range of actions and crimes. Each of the suspects had made different errors in time and place about the jogger attack in their confessions, with most placing it near the reservoir. None of the five said that he had raped the jogger, but each confessed to having been an accomplice to the rape. Their confessions varied as to who they identified as having participated in the rape, including naming several youths who were never charged.

Although four suspects except Salaam confessed on videotape in the presence of a parent or guardian, they retracted their statements within weeks, claiming that they had been intimidated, lied to, and coerced by police into making false confessions. While the confessions were videotaped, the hours of interrogation that preceded the confessions were not. Numerous pretrial hearings were conducted by Judge Thomas B. Galligan of the State Supreme Court of Manhattan, who had been assigned the case.

In one of these on February 23, , he ruled that he would accept the videotape confessions and Salaam's unsigned statement as prosecution evidence at trial, despite defense counsels' objections. Analysis indicated that none of the suspects had DNA that matched the DNA collected from two parts of the crime scene. But results were reported as "inconclusive" by police. In the six suspects indicted in the attack on the female jogger and other crimes were scheduled for trial.

The prosecution arranged to try the six defendants in the Meili case in two separate groups. This enabled them to control the order in which certain evidence would be introduced to the court. As noted, Steve Lopez was the sixth teenager indicted on charges related to the assault and rape of the jogger, and included by the prosecution with this group of defendants. Michael Briscoe was arrested on these charges as well, but not indicted. Both youths are included in a courtroom photograph of the defense table, with the three other defendants and defense counsels, scheduled to be tried together.


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This is before the first trial began. Prosecutors concluded no evidence tied Michael Briscoe, 18, to the rape case. He made a plea deal on May 31, , related to the assault and robbery of David Lewis, a banker, in an earlier incident in the park. He pleaded guilty to assault and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail on this charge, and for the unrelated sale of a drug to an undercover police officer, and credited with time served.

Lopez was scheduled to be tried in January , after the two other groups of defendants. He had denied any knowledge of the rape in his videotaped confession, but was implicated by other defendants' statements. Like the five others, he was also indicted on charges related to the attack and robbery of Loughlin.

Each of the teenagers had his own defense counsel. Meili testified at the trial, but her identity was not given to the court. None of the three defense attorneys cross-examined her. The jury deliberated for 10 days before rendering its verdict on August Each of the three youths was acquitted of attempted murder, but convicted of assault and rape of the female jogger, and convicted of assault and robbery of John Loughlin, a male jogger who was badly beaten that night in Central Park.

They were each sentenced by Judge Thomas B. Galligan to the maximum allowed for juveniles, 5—10 years each in a youth correctional facility. The second trial, of Kevin Richardson and Korey Wise, began October 22, [54] and also lasted about two months, ending in December.

ADA Elizabeth Lederer had a lengthy opening statement, and Wise broke down at the defense table after it, weeping and shouting that she had lied. He was removed temporarily from the courtroom. Richardson's defense counsel made a motion for a mistrial, because of the potential effect on the jury, but the judge rejected it. The trial proceeded. The defense attorneys noted that each youth had limited intellectual ability and said that neither was capable of preparing the written statements or videotaped confessions submitted by the prosecution as evidence. Meili testified again at this trial; again, her name was not given in court.

This time one of the defense counsels, Wise's lawyer, cross-examined her. She later said in an interview on Oprah : "I'll tell you what—I didn't feel wonderful about the boys' defense attorneys, especially the one who cross-examined me. He was right in front of my face and, in essence, calling me a slut by asking questions like 'When's the last time you had sex with your boyfriend? Richardson was the only one of the five defendants to be convicted of attempted murder of Meili, in addition to sodomy and assault of her, and robbery and riot in the attack on John Loughlin, another jogger in the park.

Korey Wise, 16 years old at the time of the crime, was acquitted of rape and attempted murder. Jackson so testified at his trial. Wise was convicted of lesser charges of sexual abuse, assault, and riot in the attack on the female jogger and on Loughlin. Jesus is going to get you. You made this up. Jurors who agreed to interviews after the trials said that they were not convinced by the youths' confessions, but were impressed by the physical evidence introduced by the prosecutors: semen although none of the defendants' DNA matched the two samples in the evidence, both noted as belonging to another, unidentified man , grass, dirt, and two hairs described as "consistent with" the victim's hair [5] : 6 that were recovered from Richardson's underpants.

But with DNA evidence still comprising a new kind of testimony at most trials, the jurors did not seem to understand the most important evidence: the fact that each of the five defendants' DNA was conclusively excluded from matching that found in two samples, both of which belonged to another, unidentified male. The FBI witness testified that in fact, the DNA of a total of 14 men was tested, including Meili's former boyfriend, and in each case was excluded as not matching those samples collected from the victim and a sock at the scene.

After the guilty verdicts, the judge sentenced the defendants to the maximum for the charges and their ages. The four youths under 16 were sentenced to years each. They had been held in a juvenile facility since their arrest. Wise at 16 was tried and sentenced as an adult because of the nature of the violent felony charges against him, under the Juvenile Offender Law of Four of the five youths appealed their convictions in the rape case the following year, but Santana did not appeal. Each of the convictions was upheld. On appeal, Salaam's attorneys charged that he had been held by police without access to parents or guardians.

The majority appellate court decision upholding his conviction noted that Salaam had initially lied to police about his age, claiming to be 16 and backing up his claim with a forged transit pass that, falsely, indicated that he was This was the age at which a suspect could be questioned without a parent or guardian present.

When Salaam informed police of his true age, they allowed his mother entry to the interrogation room. The case attracted nationwide attention. It was the subject of many articles and books, both during the trials and after the convictions. In a Guardian article, defense counsel William Warren was reported saying that he thought Trump's ads in had played a role in securing conviction by the juries, saying that "he poisoned the minds of many people who lived in New York City and who, rightfully, had a natural affinity for the victim. Although ADA prosecutor Elizabeth Lederer had said she would not accept a plea deal for any of the defendants indicted in the rape case, she did come to agreement with Steve Lopez and his attorney in the court on January 30, , prior to a new jury being selected for his trial.

He was considered the final of the six defendants in the jogger trial. Because Lopez had made no statement to police, and prosecution witnesses had withdrawn from testifying, based on what they said was fear of self-recrimination or "fear of their own safety", according to Lederer, the prosecution's case was extremely weak. Because Lopez was younger than 16 at the time of the crime, he was sentenced to serve his time in a juvenile facility.

The four younger defendants of the five who were convicted of the assault and rape of the jogger, who became known as the Central Park Five, served more than six and less than seven years each in prison, with Salaam serving nearly seven years. Each was held in juvenile facilities. Richardson, Salaam, and Santana attended classes. Each gained a GED degree and also completed associate degrees while held in prison. Richardson and Salaam were released in He was part of an Islamic community and served as a spiritual leader at his youth facility, but talked about how important his mother's visits were.

He was held at a juvenile facility about five miles from the Canadian border, hours from New York City, but she came to see him three times a week. Wise had to serve all of his time in adult prison, and encountered so much personal violence that he asked to stay in isolation for extended periods. He was held at three different prisons, having asked for transfers in the hope of improving his situation.

Isolation had its own severe challenges. He was released in August , the last of the five men to leave prison. Through this period, each of the five continued to maintain his innocence in the rape and attack of Meili, including at hearings before parole boards. Taking responsibility for that crime and expressing remorse might have helped one or more to gain earlier release. While they acknowledged "witnessing or participating in other wrongdoing" in the park, they each maintained innocence in the attack of Meili.

In , convicted serial rapist and murderer Matias Reyes was serving a life sentence in New York state. He had never been identified as a suspect in the Central Park attack on Meili, although he had been at large at the time. Reyes was later believed to have raped another woman in the same area of the park during the day on April 17, two days before his attack there on Meili.

During that summer, he raped four more women, killing one; and was interrupted after robbing a fifth. He was 17 years old at the time and said that he had acted alone. District Attorney Robert M. Based on interviews and other evidence, the team believed that Reyes had acted alone: The rape appeared to have taken place in the North Woods area after the main body of the thirty teenagers had moved well to the south, and the timeline reconstruction of events made it unlikely that he was joined by any of the defendants.

In addition, Reyes was not known to have been associated with any of the six indicted defendants, and lived at nd Street in what locals considered another neighborhood. None of the six defendants in the rape mentioned him by name in association with the rape. Reyes was not prosecuted for the rape of Meili because the statute of limitations had passed. In a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to the top counts in each of the five cases on November 1, DNA analysis of the strands of hair found on the clothing of two of the defendants, conducted with advanced technology not available at the time of their trial, established that the hair did not belong to the victim, despite what the prosecution had testified to at trial.

Based on the newly discovered evidence, each of the five men who had been convicted of charges related to the rape of Meili filed motions to have their convictions set aside and for the court "to grant whatever further relief may be just and proper. Morgenthau recommended vacating the convictions of the five defendants who had been convicted and sentenced to prison. During the re-investigation, the DA's office questioned the veracity of their confessions, because of their many inconsistencies and their lack of correspondence to established facts in the case.

Morgenthau's office wrote:. A comparison of the statements reveals troubling discrepancies. The accounts given by the five defendants differed from one another on the specific details of virtually every major aspect of the crime—who initiated the attack, who knocked the victim down, who undressed her, who struck her, who held her, who raped her, what weapons were used in the course of the assault, and when in the sequence of events the attack took place. In many other respects the defendants' statements were not corroborated by, consistent with, or explanatory of objective, independent evidence.

Like the appearance of cherry blossoms, signalling spring and rebirth. Like kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer and gold, creating something to be cherished out of something that was damaged. Trying to put the pieces of my life back together in a meaningful way, even though the pieces no longer fit. Trying to create something whole again. Trying to see beyond the challenges. Trying to find beauty in the devastation, to find joy beyond the sadness and isolation. I hope that you can acknowledge, accept, and support me as I am now. Name: Patricia.

Almost two years later, I have been diagnosed with Mild Neurocognitive Disorder. This means that I continue to experience cognitive as well as other challenges as a result of the head injury. Anyone can sustain a head injury at any point in their lives. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries MTBI are also known as concussions, and can be caused by incidents including, but not limited to, a fall, vehicle-related collisions, violence, sports injuries, explosive blasts and other combat injuries.

The puzzle pieces are intended to represent the interconnected parts of the brain. If one or more pieces are damaged or missing, the brain and body may not work as they once did. It can be impossible to see the damage with machines such as a CAT scan or an MRI and modern medicine is still in the early stages of understanding how the brain changes and repairs itself. The words on the puzzle pieces represent the feelings and symptoms I have experienced since I sustained my injury. I chose these words because they represent things that may not be visible to someone who meets me, even if they know me well.

There are many positive things that can occur in the life of someone with an MTBI, but this mask is intended to expose the factors that may be invisible. The missing puzzle piece represents loss. Everyone who sustains an MTBI experiences loss in some way, even if it is temporary. They may lose a job, a relationship or the ability to participate in activities that once meant a lot to them. During this time of loss, the support of family, friends and professionals has been instrumental in my healing journey. The butterflies represent change; change experienced in the life of the injured person and their families, change needed in available resources and research and change that is always occurring in the brain.

Name: Penelope. My husband was left with a shell of a wife and my seven children without their functioning mother. The water represents the many tears shed. The orange signifies the burning and pain in my brain. The orange ear plugs are for the sensitivity to noise. The glasses are reflective of the necessity to combat light sensitivity and blurred distorted vision. Butterflies are a symbol of the thoughts that flutter away. The words display my many emotions that have become a roller coaster in my life. The white bubble with the word useless on it represents the words that I try to say which come out all crooked and do not always make sense to me or to others.

The gold lines are there to show the fractured life my family and I live. Some individuals may be able to complete this project on their own. I struggled and required the help of many people to complete this project. Name: Stephanie. I was 6 hours out so we had to canoe and portage back, then drive 3 hours. First, there is the separation of ourselves, I became a different person after my head injury even though I still wanted to do the things I love.

Sometimes I really do feel positive and hopeful but the image I portray does not always reflect the way I feel inside. I have sewn a bridesmaid dress, curtains, suits and more.

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Sometimes I am very challenged to do things due to my limits or fatigue from medication; still also I find challenges invigorating and I enjoy a sense of achievement when done. One of my greatest challenges is reading, especially long books, yet there are some I have thoroughly enjoyed; also I feel it is an achievement that I attained a B.

Com Hon degree. There are special friends and family who help complete my life. I have had some strong relationships with doctors, but facing several conditions and surgeries in life, often they seem too busy to hear the patient. I value the few who took time to hear. Altogether life offers me an overall sense of peace upon achievement. Name: Tim. I could see no opportunity to progress, no future and no life. The butterfly symbolizes my life free to explore, and to learn.

Name: Wanda. My life has changed…. I will not be held back…. I sit and observe…it all happens right in front of you…. Are you ready for the new me? Name: Brandon. Cause of Injury s : I was born with a brain tumor on my pituitary gland. Little did we know it was also affecting my vision. At the age of 5 I had surgery, unfortunately, it was unsuccessful. I had another at age 7, followed by radiation. By age 11 my sight had almost fully returned. In , at age 25, the tumor had returned and this time there was no saving my vision. The tumor was successfully removed entirely, but I would left permanently blind.

I prayed every morning and evening for God to give me my vision for 1 day, so I can see my family one more time. I said this same prayer every morning and night for over 2 and half years. One day, miraculously, spots of sunlight, then movement, shadows began to be seen. Eight years later I have perfect eyesight, something medical professionals said was impossible. I knew how it happened, my prayers had been heard and answered. They stood by me and supported me through it all. There were 5 surgeries between age 10 — 18; March 10 years old, Dec.

Each of the staples represents one surgery which I have had five of. The lowered eyebrow represents the nerve damage caused after my fifth brain surgery. I feel lucky to have had minimal damage during my surgeries but this also has made me feel bad for other people who have ABI and worse outcomes than myself. Cause of Injury s : Lack of oxygen during septic shock incident after kidney stone removal. Also had to have my kidney removed.

It took another 11 months to find out I had a brain injury. I still have my sense of humour and intelligence. My left ear hurts and I lost my sense of smell. Name: Jane. Stroke to right side of brain affected left side. The dark side is me now because I have to learn to live in darkness. Before it used to be lots of light.

I lost my self and cannot find me so I live with this new person now who lives with great pain all day, every day. Music has helped me gain back a lot of my movement. The dolls are my family. I am a mom to many children. I have gained many great things and see things different. I covered my mask with things that have brought me joy since my injury:. Name: Lisa. I placed words over my mask that represent my feelings towards my TBI:.

I developed epilepsy and had a seizure and fell off my 4 th floor balcony landing on my back. They were years apart but I spent 1 year in hospital for each. Everything was okay in my life. Even a cop for the military. The right side of the mask explains the pain and disability that happened in my life.

There are many things that I lost the power to control. Cause of Injury s : Blow to top, right side of head. Concussion, Post Concussion Syndrome. The other half of the mask was me before. Four years later, it can still be a bother. When I struggle for words and look around for someone to please read my mind!!! It is better and does not happen so often. I am so grateful for that. I do miss the old motorcycle riding, working having a blast ME! Onwards and Upwards. Name: Susan. The right side represents all the things I loved and did before my stroke.

The left side represents the things I lost because of my stroke:. I put letters over my mask because it is hard to find my words. My AA and family has made it more successful. The tears are the days that remind me of how life was , and the way it is now. Cause of Injury s : My brain injury was caused by an infection. The infection came as a result of long time use of anti-rejection medications for my kidney transplant. The after section is represented by the BLUE COLOUR — afraid, angry, challenged, confused, determined, different, distracted, exhausted, frustrated, gracious, grateful, helpful, hopeful, interested, lovable, lucky, surprised , tired, worried.

After living with my brain tumour I became angry. Two months later I was in another accident in which the car I was in was rear-ended. I experience dizziness and get tired. On the bright side, there are days when I feel calm and content. The markings also reflect areas that have been physically damaged.

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The words behind my eyes and behind the skull reflect the psychological impact and changes to my identity, dispositions, my emotional state, and my outlook on my change of identity. Hurt that I was robbed of one possible future, yet resilient and helpful to others moving on. Cause of Injury s : I was working in Kingston and I fell off the ladder. I went home with a massive headache. I woke up the next day and I had a massive stroke. I had a good job. I loved going to work each day. At home I had done all kinds of renovations on the house and I did all kinds of work on my truck or other vehicles.

I was always positive. I had great self-esteem and I was very independent. After the stroke — I lost my job, I lost my licence, I lost my independence and I lost my self-esteem. To me I feel useless now. Cause of Injury: Motor vehicle Accident , T-boned at intersection by distracted driver, sustained catastrophic physical and cognitive injuries.

Cause of Injury: Subarachnoid Hemorrhage at work, April 8, It felt like I was hit with a baseball bat on the back of my head. I felt like all I wanted to do was roll on the floor, but I managed to walk across to the front of the plant where I went to the washroom and threw up twice. The ambulance arrived. I must have blacked out and I do not remember anything else except waking up in hospital. The mask represents that looking and feeling are two different things. The words on the mask represents the things I have experienced and still feel.

I was able to express how I felt and found out others feel the same way too. It made me feel more normal because they feel similar effects. I am looking forward to more support group meetings to help me balance the positive and the unknown. Name: Jeff P. Cause of Injury: I was in a motorcycle accident in during which I was thrown over 18 ft.

The same injury that paralyzed and ultimately killed actor Christopher Reeves , burst my thoracic discs four and five, mid back and sustained a catastrophic brain injury to my right frontal lobe. The lightning bolt defines the injury. Striking in a split second. Splitting the mind in its dichotomy forever. In my case, utterly and completely amazed, and thankful and so overwhelmingly grateful to be alive and perhaps even more so, not paralyzed for the rest of my life.

The right side of my mask highlights this positive. All that was so good in my life and all that still exists as such even now. So much remains the same in many ways. The typical facial depiction and expression you try and convey to the world everyday as you go forward, beginning to question everything you once were. Yet now sensing deep within your mind and your heart that everything has changed forever. Some subtly and some overwhelmingly catastrophic all at the same time. This side shows the fight to remain in all that is positive. The left side of the mask shows the deep-set struggle through the negativity of the pain nail to the forehead , the daily setbacks lightning bolt impact, taking it on the chin , the never ending struggle of acceptance the black eye and the endless resulting sorrow the tears and anger the red and black to try and accept a life lost in an instant.

Name: Kat. Explanation of mask: When affected by a brain injury, your whole life is turned upside down. My mask represents how I feel inside emotionally, physically and mentally. Cause of Injury: March a careless driver ran the red light, t-boned my car and caused a Traumatic Brain Injury.

The MVA caused a concussion, whiplash and an undiagnosed subdural bleed! Fifty-one days of a slow bleed, cranial mid line shift and a huge hematoma resulted in two brain surgeries. The craniotomy surgery caused a stroke. Explanation of mask: My mask represents who I feel I have become with this invisible brain injury from March to the present. The red side of my mask represents the damage and the rage I felt during: my intensive rehab sessions, the loss of independence, the loss of professional life, the loss of self image and the pressures on my family.

My body could not do many functions properly. I was constantly scared and overwhelmed The separate orange pieces represent only some of the losses and challenges that I have experienced as my brain struggled to make the needed connection to heal! The Blue side of my mask represents the now calmer me who does continue to experience many of the issues caused by the Acquired Brain Injury but I am still learning to move forward and to adjust to the New ME!

The blue flowing lines represent that my brain continues to heal by making meaning connections. The yellow centre line represents my hope and the support systems that connects my feelings of range with my calmer self now. The invisible trauma to my brain and to my whole being continues to frustrate me! Most people do not understand the needs and the constant issues experienced by brain injury survivors and their families!

My acquired brain injury is a life-long journey!!! Name: Dianne F. Cause of Injury: On June 26, I went to work as a normal day and was having a great day at work. I knew at the end of the day I will going on vacation. But at in the afternoon my life changed. I got hit on the left side of my head, neck, shoulder and upper back. Explanation of mask: From that day forward I had to change the way I life because of the pain I was dealing with.

I was put down many times and told to get over it. Nobody knows what you are going through until they walk in your shoes.

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The chronic pain slows you down and going out in crowds makes it even harder for a person with a brain injury. More people have to understand what brain injury survivors go through because it is a rough road and you need support to get through. I am very thankful I found the support meeting in Georgetown to find out information and to make my life a little easier.

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But I know I still have to make life changing decisions in order to move one. Name: Karen. Cause of Injury: Motor Vehicle Accident in Suffered whiplash and concussion. One side of the mask shows the way life was before the accident. After dinner I was involved in a motor vehicle accident.

I was flown to Sunnybrook Trauma Centre because the local hospital where I was taken, discovered a bleed on the brain. It was at Sunnybrook I was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury, along with injuries to my knee, entire spine, neck, shoulder, etc. My mask is simple, a Traumatic Brain Injury leaves you feeling disconnected from yourself, family, friends, work and every aspect of daily life. The symptoms from TBI are far too long to list.

The Angel Inside: A Young Woman's Healing Journey Through Coma and Brain Injury

Only hard work and dedication to learning new strategies can help you survive day to day. With help and understanding, these feelings can be overcome, but it takes work and dedication. Explanation of mask: I walk around everyday with a vice gripped onto my brain. Sometimes it is a quick severe tightening an sometimes it is slow and steady. I feel like the cogs in my brain are filled with glue or honey and it is often just so hard to think. It is impossible to explain to people that thinking causes me headaches.

The 3D glasses represent the vision therapy exercises I do to try to be able to read without triggering a headache. I like Kiss and Alice Cooper. Name: Tony. Cause of Injury: Anoxic Brain Injury. Near drowning — lack of oxygen for at least 30 minutes. Name: Tyler. Cause of Injury: Assault. I was assaulted by a gang, because I stood up for an individual who was assaulted over a girl. I was knocked unconscious and continuously hit after being concussed. Explanation of mask: The mask signifies the cold journey I have been on.

Name: Kaijah. Explanation of mask: Happiness and Beauty. No matter what happens to you, you can be beautiful and happy. Name: Parm. Explanation of mask: Agitated, frustrated, angry, Sad and confused. Name: Rena. Explanation of mask: Each day I wake with hope. Today will be the day of I can do….. Hope can quickly turn to frustration and anger.

Through my faith and music, I can get to the end of one more day. Name: Viola. Explanation of mask: Different emotions post-accident. Sense of loss and confusion. Name: Wayne. Struggles to accept new reality. We are wives, girlfriends, significant others, sisters, grandmothers, aunts, friends, co-workers and former co-workers. Name: Blaine. I was in my first year of high school when I got in to the car accident with my brother-in-law and a friend who died.

The black on the mask represents my blurred vision. I keep positive and always keep myself busy. Behind every cloud there is a silver lining. I was training to be a nurse when I got sick. The more experienced nurses told me that pain was the most important symptom. Everything was too bright. So I folded my legs, closed by eyes and tried not to cry.

Ride it out. Name: Charles. Equivalent exchange for everything lost there is always something gained. Balance of good and evil. That is in everything. Our lives based on the choices we make. Cause of Injury: Neuro haptic feedback text missing , resulting synaptic, grey matter burn, cognitive cerebral damage to right side hemisphere. Explanation of mask: Fallout on left and right hemispheres while holding onto balance of opening third eye.

I am suffering from tinnitus. I have a treasure of friends, doctors, and professionals who help me. I see sunshine every day. Some days are not so smooth a little rough. I have forgotten many things. I see beautiful things and people all around me. I take pictures with my cell phone. I am a person of strong faith. It gives me strength. I CAN walk. I have to do retraining to get my licence back. The road signs are like my life; stopping, yielding changing directions , and go.

I wear the necklace, because it is like a smile saying I am okay. I am a happy person and I am at peace. Name: Elaine D. Cause of Injury: Numerous head trauma capped off with a motor vehicle accident in July The colouring in the mask: The dull grey at the brain level reflects the unclear focus that I can experience.

The black lines that go through reflect the negative impact that the brain injury had on my sports. I played many but softball and hockey are what I was known for.

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The crew represents the spiking, stabbing pain that I experience sometimes. The cloudy eyes indicate the days that are unfocused as well as the times when I am unable to see a bright future. The rays that are yellow represent that this is changing and things are slowly getting better. The gradual change in colour from grey to green represents the new me, a new life, and hope. Name: Elaine M. The hammer represents the mallet I used in bashing my head out of frustration. The words on the right side lists where I was injured locations. The stitches on the mouth show how I now feel about my injuries.

I care but nobody else seems to. Name: Fraser. The dates are significant to my life and the impact that it has had. The symbols are positive and negatives feelings. Now quite a few of the routines that we perform every day have been learned for a second time. Name: Hiroko. Explanation of mask: I really like colour and being colourful.

These are the people on my team who really helped me and I am very grateful, especially my Occupational Therapist. I also wanted to show my love of socializing by putting people holding hand together. Each of the four faces is different, happy, sexy, sad and crying. They represent the different emotions I have felt as I recover.

I have learned so much in my recovery and I will continue to learn. Explanation of mask: Express daily life living things and positive future. Name: Jen. That particular beauty was the 4th concussion of September Add a few whiplash events and a bout of Lyme disease possibly twice , and you get a very long an drawn out roller coaster recovery. In January I was rear-ended at a stop light and suffered whiplash and another concussion.

For better or worse, this experience has changed me. Each solid colour has a meaning: Red for anger, Orange or courage and confidence, Yellow for energy, Green for new beginnings, Blue for peace, Purple for moodiness, Pink for play and Turquoise for healing. The butterfly is a symbol of metamorphosis, becoming; does the caterpillar know what it will become? Does it simply accept that it will change and allow it to happen?

Or does it decide what it wants to be and work toward it? The butterfly wing represents possibility, change and growth. The small squares, which begin in an orderly manner and gradually drift into disarray, are a reminder that no matter how hard we fight, entropy happens. We can either fight or spend all our energy trying to constantly re-order everything, or we can simply embrace the beauty in disorder and find new ways to see things.

This new vision is shown by the fabric behind the right eye. Name: Jessica. Cause of Injury: I was attacked on the side of the road by one man who I heard did this for a pastime. Explanation of mask: Confusion, loneliness, and cheerfulness are how my brain injury makes me feel. I do not remember about my past before my injury. Explanation of mask: This mask shows a lot of different aspects of my life.

We will make this a short but sweet story. My injury saved my life. Due to my lifestyle an choices, they were leading me to a life that would have ended in a negative way. Since my injury, I have had many more positive occasions in my life for the last 24 years. Name: Katherine. I work well with a schedule. It could be bad news, a phone call. The colour black represents that I need simple instruction because most stuff goes over my head. Name: Kayla. Cause of Injury: Bicycle Accident. Pot hold took the tire off. I flew over the handle bars and landed on my face.

I was unconscious for 15 minutes. Explanation of mask: The screws depict the daily headaches I have. Key pain points include my temples. My eyes are sunken in to depict what it feels like to have everything feel so big. The exposed brain depicts not only the main area of my injury, the pre-frontal cortex, it represents my feelings of being exposed in so many ways but specifically, emotionally. Due to the location of my injury, I feel emotionally charged and unable to hide or regulate my feelings.

It has been a struggle to feel any kind of normal since my injury. Name: Kerry. Cause of Injury: Severe Epilepsy, concussions, 3 brain surgeries, lack of oxygen and side effects of medications. Explanation of mask: Purple for Epilepsy Awareness. Lightning bolts are seizures. The buttons and green pipe cleaners are the Deep Brain Stimulator and wires.

The grey block on each side of my mask are the metal plates on my skull to protect my brain. The blue lips represent my lack of oxygen during certain seizures. The green on one cheek is a bruise I got during a seizure. The blood shot eyes are a side effect of my meds. I just want to be happy. Name: Larry. Explanation of mask: Protection of head — farming is a very dangerous career.