The former elementary school teacher and corporate executive suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury during a 1998 car crash. She was left unable to work because of chronic pain and memory loss, and struggled to heal physically and emotionally.
Read more about Ann hitting rock bottom and her steadfast determination to overcome the obstacles in her new life.
Ann was awarded one of the eleven 2011 Community Service Awards from WXIA 11-Alive for creating, developing, and implementing the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association®.
Watch this YouTube video about Ann and our association.
Mike is a brain injury survivor and a valued Peer Visitor for the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association. His car accident occurred in May, 1993. He was in a coma for 40 days. He then went to Inpatient Rehabilitation until August 5, 1993, and Outpatient Rehabilitation for 4 months, and then was released December 24, 1993. He returned to work in 1994. In 1995, he returned to college where he graduated with a BS Psychology degree in 1999.
Mike is a certified Occupational Therapy Aide and a certified Brain Injury Specialist. Mike is LIVING PROOF that rehabilitation WORKS, and he’s living proof that all of the compensatory strategies that Mike practices and teaches DO WORK.
Do you need help with doing your daily activities?
Do you need help living each day?
Read more about Mike and his rehabilitation services. Learn how to regain your independence and take care of yourself.
Steve sustained a brain stem injury on the basketball court at the age of 27. He was born in Chicago, and was a Triathlete previous to his injury. Steve has a passion for life. He is an active member of The Seminole Spirit Support Group. He also swims and works out at the YMCA every week.
Read Steve’s story and watch his video.
Linda is a TBI survivor. Her accident happened in 2006 when she became “Mina Kitty.” As part of her recovery process, Linda went onto the Web for information about brain injury. She has created a website with a simple format with access to clearly presented information. Linda says, “My goal is to educate others about brain injury, provide resources, and promote good brain health.”
Read Linda’s own story and visit her website, The Brain Fairy.
Kathleen Bartl tells the story of how her poor decision-making to ask her “beautiful thoroughbred to jump a more than reasonable jump” – changed the outcome of her life. Kathleen had “severe damage to her brain stem and to most other brain sections due to the shearing that took place on impact” of falling from her horse.
Kathleen tells her remarkable story of rehabilitation and recovery in her memoir book, THE FALL – A MEMOIR – TBI – From Injury to Recovery Outside the Box.
Read part of her story.
Liz has been a Brain Injury Peer Visitor for 10 years on our Shepherd team in the ABI-MW Unit. Liz is a survivor of a car wreck back in 1998.
Read her amazing story here (PDF).
Emily is a survivor of what was called a “fatal car wreck” – but she survived. Emily is so thankful for her car wreck: “I have this new life to live.”
Read more of Emily’s story.
Joey Buchanan is a true HERO in today’s world. After Joey extinguished a housefire, a 50 lb. load of sheetrock fell from a vaulted ceiling over 8 feet high and struck him on his head. From that day forward, Joey’s life would be changed forever – from his “mild brain injury” sustained that fateful day.
Read a few paragraphs in Joey’s own words as he explains, “So that others . . . may understand.”
A young mother of twins had horrible headaches — not just exhaustion from caring for twins, but a CT Scan showed a dark area in her brain. The story goes on from here.
After three brain surgeries, Trina survived to tell this wonderful story — and to help others by running three different groups that support brain injury survivors and their caregivers and loved ones.
Courtney Clark was in a horrific truck accident on the freeway over 20 years ago. The truck he was driving was hit by another truck, then flipped three times to land on the median. He was ejected from the truck, and then the truck hood hit his body. He sustained both a brain injury and spinal cord injury.
Read Courtney’s inspiring story.
Michael Coss is the survivor of a car wreck back in 2006. He will tell you that his life was changed forever, and it’s been changed for the good. Michael is also the 2012 Recipient of The Courage to Come Back Award.
Michael’s desire is that his remarkable story and this inspirational YouTube video will serve as much-needed hope for other TBI survivors and their loved ones.
He has also written a book, The Courage to Come Back: Triumph Over TBI – A Story of Hope, as an inspiration to other brain injury survivors and also to their family members, and to also let the general public know about the benefits of hyperbaric chambers.
Del-Rita’s story is like many other brain injury survivors — the doctors did not diagnose her problem for over a year. She went to doctor after doctor and had numerous tests done.
Del-Rita was a Chicago high school teacher. One of her students brutally attacked her in the school hallway, leaving her with a fractured skull and broken nose — and a traumatic brain injury.
Read her journey in her own words.
On January 31, 2002, I was shot 7 times — four times to the head and three to the body. I was left for dead, lying alone for two days bleeding to death; then God sent an angel that found me. My recovery was difficult; many people thought I wouldn’t make it. I wanted to give up. I thought my mountain was too high to overcome.
Then God spoke to me and said, “I spared your life for a reason.” I then understood my mission was to spread my testimony to encourage other brain injury patients as well as gunshot victims through organizations like the BRAIN INJURY PEER VISITOR ASSOCIATION and VICTIMS OF CRIME.
To hear more concerning my remarkable recovery, tune in to my YouTube page, Saints Keepin it Real.
Read Randy’s amazing story. He was shot twice in the head when only a Junior in high school. He went on to finish a law degree, work in law enforcement for over 10 years, and become an Army reservist. He even scaled Pike’s Peak twice!
Please read on . . . Randy is a true inspiration.
Sarah Deberry was just eight years old when she dashed across the street for ice cream and was hit by a car. Paralyzed and in a coma for eight days, no one thought she’d make it, let alone be able to do anything with her life.
In her book, My Second Chance at Life, Sarah recounts the childhood accident that resulted in near-death injuries and how she fought to overcome every roadblock to living a full and rewarding life despite her TBI. She shares how she coped with guilt, anger, bullying, and frustration along the way. But her most overpowering message is one of hope and tenacity.
In addition to being a celebrated author, Sarah earned her college degree and Certificate of Medical Administration, all while holding down seven jobs.
Read her uplifting story.
in 2016 Karla was in a bad car wreck. She was a patient at both Shepherd Center and Shepherd Pathways. The Brain Injury Peer Visitor Program Peer Visited with both Karla and Karla’s parents. Karla has now returned to college at the University of Georgia. She and her dad, a UGA professor, have helped change the UGA policies about who can be a Presidential Scholar and make the Dean’s List, even if they are disabled and are carrying a reduced caseload.
Read about the policy change in the AJC, and watch this Hero Award video, where both Karla and her mom are interviewed on behalf of Ann Boriskie and the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association and Program.
Melissa is a former Shepherd Center brain injury patient. She was in a serious head-on collision on her way to church.
Read Melissa’s amazing story (PDF) in Shepherd’s Spinal Column, Return to Practicing Dentistry, about her determination and hard work in rehabilitation which enabled her to return to her practice as a dentist.
Bryan was in a car wreck he wasn’t supposed to survive — a head-on collision with a drunk driver — when he was only 19 years old, and his life as he had known it ended. He spent five weeks in a coma with a severe brain stem injury, and his left side was completely paralyzed.
Read about Bryan’s ordeal and inspiring road to recovery.
And read his mom’s (almost) daily progress notes throughout Bryan’s six weeks in the hospital.
Chris is a great Brain Injury Peer Visitor in Naples, Florida at Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Rehabilitation. He is a living example of hope to other brain injury survivors that “you can make it.” He is also successfully working part time at Home Depot. Chris had an Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) in his brain.
Read about Chris’s diagnoses in the beginning from a family member, Nadine.
Archie loved his job of driving his big rig truck 17 to 18 hours a day. He spent time with his family and enjoyed golf, fishing, playing pool, camping, and watching sports car racing. Then on a snowy day during whiteout conditions, Archie’s life would forever change. He hit another truck and was in a coma for 9 months.
Read Archie’s story in his own words.
Randal is a brain injury survivor of 27 years from an auto accident. His life drastically changed on that day. He says that living with a brain injury is “like living with an unforgiving enemy that requires and demands that you be its constant and forever companion.”
Read Randal’s survivor story, and buy his book, The Stranger Inside of Me.
Richard is a motorcycle accident survivor who is giving back to others by being a Brain Injury Peer Visitor.
Read Richard’s story, including having his belief system changed from non-believing to a recognition of God’s role in our lives.
TJ Glavin is the Action Sports Star/Host of The Challenge.
This YouTube video shows TJ performing a stunt on his bike – and then crashing, incurring extreme brain trauma. TJ encourages all brain-injured and all disabled individuals to recognize the disability, respect the ability, and imagine the possibility.
Bart Goldstein was only 16 when he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident in 2001. Bart’s story is told from his father, Joel’s, point of view. Bart’s story chronicles his own family’s ordeal after Bart’s TBI. This story is full of flashbacks in Bart’s life since he arrived in Korea to live, at the age of 5 months.
The Goldstein family considered every possibility in their search for remedies to help correct Bart’s catastrophic injuries. These alternatives included craniosacral, hyperbaric oxygen, sensory learning, vision restoration therapy, and more.
To learn more about Bart Goldstein’s Survivor Story, read the book written by Joel Goldstein, Bart’s dad, No Stone Unturned: A Father’s Memoir of His Son’s Encounter with Traumatic Brain Injury. You can purchase the book from Amazon.com.
Geo was in a serious bicycle accident when he was 25 years old. Geo’s experiences led him to write two books, TBI Hell and TBI Purgatory. In Geo’s own words, “These books are in no way medical. They are not Rah! Rah! Work hard and everything will be fine! They are just me telling about all of the trials and tribulations that I have had to — and continue to — endure as a result of having an injured brain.”
Read Geo’s story and click the links above to read about and purchase Geo’s two TBI books.
DuWayne, a mental health worker in a hospital Psych ward, was an avid motorcycle rider who one day had to lay down his bike to avoid a car that pulled out in front of him. He incurred massive injuries, both external and internal, and required years of therapy. Having to relearn how to perform everyday tasks and basically how to live again, ten years later he slipped and broke his neck. Eighteen years into his disability, he was hit by a truck when walking across a street.
Read DuWayne’s personal account of how his life has completely changed and how every day is a challenge for him as a TBI survivor.
Mark is a brain injury survivor who fell from the roof of his screened-in porch May 1, 1999. Read Mark’s story here.
Mark is a Peer Visitor for the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association and is also the originator and leader of a extremely active brain injury support group called The Seminole Spirit. Mark started his group in January 2005 with his Speech Pathologist, Katherine T. Peyton. The Seminole Spirit is a language brain injury self-help group that works with people with aphasia. This group meets bimonthly on Fridays at Northbrook United Methodist Church’s Scout House at 50 Houze Way in Roswell, Georgia. Call Mark at (404) 434-7452 for more information.
Read The Seminole Spirit’s mission statement and the schedule of meetings.
Mark also tells his story about his wonderful spouse and marriage in Stay the Course, the M&M Way.
At age 20, Eileen was driving home from college when she was in a horrible car wreck that almost took her life. After numerous surgeries and lots of therapy, she is now a Brain Injury Peer Visitor at several hospitals, encouraging other brain injury survivors with her big smile, wit, and positive attitude.
Read Eileen’s story as told by her mom, Sue.
Gregory Hebert’s story is ultimately about faith. “Trust in those who help you is important, but in the end, it matters where you place your faith.”
His faith never wavered, despite whatever he had to go through, because Gregory always knew there was a reason for it.
Other than that, there was always a talent he possessed. He had to work to get it back up to snuff, but he went above and beyond any of his own expectations.
He will never stop thanking his brother for all of the love he provided during Gregory’s troubled time, his mother for teaching him how to be independent, and his dad for teaching him never to give up. Of course there were other people who added to the mix, but family comes before the rest, and Gregory was blessed with a pretty good one. Gregory had lots of uncles and even an aunt who helped him by using old school values, helping him keep faith in the Lord, and helped him with a little extra change when he needed it.
Read more about Gregory’s amazing recovery.
Gary Heffner survived a subdural bleed from an aneurysm, and had a coil procedure and placement of a shunt. Read about his unique story and experience, of how his lovely girlfriend became his wife, being married in the hospital with hospital staff (nurses and doctors) as their witnesses.
Read the story — written by the president and CEO of Brookdale — of Gary and Pam Heffner, who now have returned to the very hospital where Gary rehabbed, Brookdale Center for Healthy Living and Rehabilitation, volunteering as Brain Injury Peer Visitors, as part of the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association.
Dr. Bill Heidecker was a full-time dentist when he had a stroke in 2013. His rehabilitation work at Shepherd Center and Emory Rehabilitation Hospital, and his own determination, helped him recover back to the friendly, warm, and caring person that he was before his stroke. Bill was a Brain Injury Peer Visitor with our own Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association, providing help to other stroke survivors and their families. He volunteered at the two places he attributes to “saving his own life” — Shepherd and Emory.
Read more (PDF) of Bill’s story and how his trusted friend, his dog, saved his life.
Clark Jacobs was a student at Georgia Tech and living in the dorms. In early January 2015, Clark fell from his seven-foot loft bed, changing his life forever. The massive skull fracture and subsequent brain bleed were life threatening. He then suffered a STROKE.
Read about how Clark survived, relearned all his basic and regular life skills in months of therapy, and returned to college in 2016.
Listening to the doctors and counselors in the brain-injured community sometimes has you wondering if recovery can ever take place.
Well, read this wonderful recovery story about 14-year-old Jessica Jones recovering completely from a severe traumatic brain injury resulting from a fall off a retaining wall.
Justin Kemp was at work when he was shot in the head. His life changed forever. Justin emailed and told our director that just emailing was tough and exerted a lot of his energy. But he wants to share a small piece of his own story to help others.
Read Justin’s story and TV and newspaper articles about the three gunmen who were caught and sent to prison.
After years of battling headaches this young woman was partying one night, fell down, and couldn’t get up. What everyone thought was just too much to drink turned out to be an aneurysm.
Read Lisa’s inspiring story, My Life After an Aneurysm.
Hadley was only 16 when a truck plowed into the car in which she and a friend were riding, and she suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as a broken neck, pelvis, and ribs. She spent months in a minimally conscious state and then emerged to the point where she could be rehabilitated. For the next three months, Hadley spent her days at Shepherd relearning everything – how to walk, talk, eat, count and read.
Read this article (PDF) in the Spring 2011 edition of Shepherd Center’s Neurotransmitter about Hadley’s remarkable recovery and her relentless drive to get on with her life!
On August 16th, 2009, Michael got a headache which he ignored at first. Throughout the next couple of days things went from bad to worse, and he found out at Emory Hospital he had a cavernous malformation in his basal ganglia. He never knew anything about it until it suddenly ruptured and resulted in a very slow version of a stroke. He has had an incredible recovery and is back at Kennesaw State University where he is a Junior majoring in Mathematics. His brain injury gave him a deep appreciation for life, and he would not have recovered as well as he did if he had not been optimistic. Michael’s advice? Just keep a positive attitude always. His favorite quote is “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.
Read Michael’s full story here.
Sylvia Lawing is a survivor of a traumatic brain injury resulting from a serious car crash in 2008. Sylvia believes that “the secret to survival is to realize that a loss is sometimes a new beginning.” She has created several blogs to help others.
Read Sylvia’s testimony.
Neil Ligon was a Brain Injury Peer Visitor at Shepherd Center and Grady. He won the 2012 Triumph Award, awarded by Walton Rehabilitation Health System during National Rehabilitation Week in September 2012. Neil is also an author of the book, The Detours (click to purchase), the story of his recovery after his brain injury. As stated by Deeds Publishing: “The Detours is a story of a man who, after surviving a severe traumatic brain injury, set out to rediscover who he once was and who he wanted to become. Neil states: I suffered a traumatic brain injury that August day, and the months of hospitals and rehabilitation that followed were just the beginning of my fight.“
Read Neil’s full story, and visit his book/advocacy Facebook page.
An artist, Allen suffered severe brain damage a decade ago when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. What he went through shaped his goal in life to help others learn and develop their skills as artists.
Read more about Allen’s inspiring life and see some of Allen’s colorful paintings which depict disabilities in the art.
“It was a cycling accident, out of the blue, unpredictable, and like most events that bring trauma to the brain, not something I’d ever expect would happen to me. Unseen and unimaginable, traumatic brain injury is an injury to the hidden and most essential part of yourself, a crippling injury which can compromise every aspect of your life, a triple whammy of cognitive, functional, and behavioural problems, and the fallout which hits you where it hurts – in your identity, your career and social performance, in your parenting skills, in your exercise program, your sense of self worth, and in the map you thought you had painted of your life.”
Anne lives in New Zealand. She tells us her story and has written a wonderful book: The Brilliance and the MADNESS – Letting Brain Injury Out of the Closet.
Click here to read more of Anne’s story.
Click here for her book’s Facebook page.
Here is her ebook on Amazon.com.
Here is Anne’s website, where she runs a blog on rehabilitation.
“In April 2008 Randy experienced a traumatic motorcycle accident that changed his life. It made him realize he had been given a new chance in life, and reaffirmed for him the importance of family. A near-death experience while in the hospital made him realize his life had purpose, and as a result, he is now sharing his message . . . “
Read more about Randy and his book: Beating Adversity – A Blueprint for Success in Life.
Bob is better known as “The Stroke Victor.” Bob had a severe stroke back in 1996. “Join The Stroke Victor from his days as a paralyzed, hiccuping, barely speaking massive stroke survivor living in a Connecticut nursing home to journeys to Australian and New Zealand vineyards where he and his caregiver wife enjoyed so many marvelous activities.”
Bob wrote a book entitled Stroke Victor – How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor. Read Bob’s entire story about his stroke and his amazing recovery in his book. In his own words: “Stroke Victor is a How-To Book! It is not another survivor story, heartfelt as it may be. Follow this fact-filled, informative and realistically holistic approach to beating the odds after stroke.”
Dave Marcon was in a motorcycle accident back in 1985.
Read the story that he has never previously shared with anyone. He is planning on writing a memoir in his future. Dave explains his recovery process and shows his “grit and fortitude” to get better, improve his skills, and to keep trying and moving forward in a positive direction.
In this YouTube video, Todd Mitchem — TED speaker, author, and entertaining thought-provoking keynote presenter — talks about the car crash (he was hit by a distracted driver trying to dial her phone) that gave him a massive concussion, and discusses why you must NEVER let someone else tell you that you are done or dead!
His new book, YOU, DISRUPTED, will help you change your game and break you free from your habitual ways of being.
Michael was going to a Halloween costume party. He stepped out of the taxi, proceeded to walk across the street, and was struck by a speeding SUV. This was “the day his life changed forever.”
Read more about Michael and how he is thankful to everyone who helped him overcome his struggles.
Have you ever experienced a situation where you knew something was wrong, but it wasn’t obvious enough to know that it was a very serious situation immediately? Have you had to face a brain surgery with the uncertainty of what the results would be? Are you post-serious brain injury and now on the road of healing and adapting that seems endless and uncertain?
Perhaps my brain injury story can be helpful to you in some way.
Currently on the Peer Visiting team at the Shepherd Center and Shepherd Pathways, RoseAnn drowned while snorkeling in 2006. She is a wife and mom of two children.
Read more about RoseAnn’s remarkable steps to recovery on her CaringBridge page.
Kevin was a champion snowboarder who was about to enter the Winter Olympics. He was training when his snowboard caught on the ice and his head was slammed into it when he fell (he was wearing a helmet that saved his life) – but he says his life is 360 degrees different now than before. He calls his TBI his Invisible Disability.
Check out his YouTube video in which he points out aftereffects many TBI Survivors share.
Also watch a very well-done Australian HD story about Kevin.
Until July 6, 2011, Will Penn was just like any other 8-year-old boy. What he didn’t know – no one knew – was that he was born with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). On July 6, the AVM ignited a massive brain hemorrhage and stroke in Will’s body.
Read Dana O’Neil of ESPN.com’s story about Will and his family and how Cory Weissman was an inspiration.
In his own words, Craig J. Phillips is “a traumatic brain injury survivor, a master’s-level rehabilitation counselor, an educator, and a motivational/inspirational speaker with a message of hope.” Craig’s traumatic brain injury occurred in 1967, when he was 10 years old. He underwent brain surgery. “Rehabilitation did not exist in 1967 for brain injury, thus he had to teach himself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences.”
His very informative website is Second Chance to Live, and his story is on the About Page.
At age 16, Matthew, a new driver, lost control of his car and crashed into a tree. He was in a coma for two weeks due to bilateral frontal lobe bruising and ruptured blood vessels in his brain.
Read Matthew’s story on the Brain & Life website about his recovery and his service to others as a Peer Visitor with our association, the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association. He is now in his freshman year at college!
On May 21, 2006, Enrico was involved in a motor vehicle collision that almost cost him his life. He was in a coma for two weeks and in the hospital for three months. After that he did over two years in rehabilitation.
Read his story of recovery and how he did his first full Ironman Triathlon in 2016, the 10th anniversary of his accident. He did this as a fundraiser for Brain Injury Canada.
On April 4, 2006, at the age of 23, Saul crashed in a professional bicycle race. He fell into a coma, sustaining substantial bodily damage and a traumatic brain injury. His outlook was bleak. Medical professionals did not know if he would survive, and if he did, what kind of life he would lead.
Read more about Saul’s remarkable comeback and mission in life, the Raisin’ Hope Foundation.
Julianna Ramos (Chris Medina’s fiancée)
On Thursday April 9, 2009, Derek was involved in a near-fatal car crash while driving his mom’s SUV.
Read more about Derek on his CaringBridge page.
David was injured in a motorcycle accident when he was only 17 years old. He was not expected to live nor recover. His mom, Deanna, has written David’s story in the book Reconstructing David.
Read David’s own story in which he looks back at his life, 25 years after his accident. He also has insightful comments about Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ recovery and the media’s failure to truthfully portray brain injury and its real effects.
Jamie Scrubas, 48, experienced a stroke the summer of 2014. He had to relearn to think, speak clearly, walk, and use his arm & leg. Jamie was engaged to be married to Tami Florio when his stroke occurred. In 2015, Tami is becoming a caregiver Brain Injury Peer Visitor at Shepherd with the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association.
Read about Jamie and Tami and their wedding in the Shepherd Center’s Secret Garden.
At a picnic, Mark’s wife, Sherri, noticed that he stopped talking, was sweating, and was slumped to one side. She immediately realized that her husband was having a stroke. Fortunately, he was rushed to a hospital where he was given tPA, a blood clot-busting drug, and transferred to Piedmont Hospital. He had an occluded artery that was blocked by the blood clot. Thanks to the entire stroke team at Piedmont Hospital, he made a remarkable recovery in the next few days.
Read the article about Mark (PDF) that appeared in the Winter 2010-11 edition of Piedmont Profiles. Ann Boriskie, Director of the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Program, had the privilege to Peer Visit with both Mark and Sheri when Mark was a patient in Piedmont’s Neurosciences Unit.
Leanne Shaw and her mother, Linda, are both Brain Injury Peer Visitors at Children’s Healthcare Atlanta (CHOA) at Scottish Rite for the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association. Leanne says that she owes her recovery to the great care she received at CHOA.
Read her story and see her Before and After photos!
Wednesday morning May 14th, 2008, I left for work as a network engineer in Peachtree City, Georgia, much the same as I had every morning for almost eight years. This day would be different than all the rest and begin a journey through the mysterious and sometimes frightening world of traumatic brain injury.
My story is here and my blog is www.hopeaftertbi.net.
Valerie Jo Smith, a mother of two infants, suffered a closed head injury resulting in a stroke and left hemiplegia after an automobile accident on August 14, 1989.
Read Valerie’s story of how her faith in God and his will for her life – and her strong personal determination – carried her through her recovery process, the raising of her children, and the making of a new life plan for herself.
I want to give back, by being a mentor for someone going through stroke, never never give up. On Feb. 20, 2012 when life throws you a curve ball, I never thought it would happen to me, ability to walk, read, write, speak, or comprehend, it was hard and fearful, but with God, miracles happen. Heb. 13:5 I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.
Three days in I.C.U., four weeks in rehabilitation center at Southern Regional Medical Center, I hope my video will encourage others, that through the storms of life, you can make it, quitting is not an option.
Read about Charles and our team of Peer Visitors in the Fayette County News.
Kristin was in an automobile accident in Scotland where she attended school. Considered a medical rarity, during her initial recovery she found that she could no longer hear and yet she “heard” loud noises through amplified sounds from her PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) which is becoming less with time. Communication is a problem for her because although she can lip-read a little, she found she could only communicate with her parents.
Read Kristin’s optimistic account of her incredible journey in her new world.
The life of Jeff Stiles was forever impacted by the car wreck he suffered in 1983. But rather than letting that wreck impact him in a negative way, he went on to earn a degree in Theology and then began several successful businesses of his own. Today, Jeff is a facilitator for caregivers with the Iowa Alzheimer’s Association, and in 2016 became a volunteer in the organization’s “Heroes” program, for which he provides weekly telephone support for caregivers throughout the state of Iowa. In 2017, Jeff will be retiring from regular employment, and spend his week pursuing his love of writing — and volunteering to help caregivers deal with their own loved ones suffering from dementia.
Read Jeff’s incredible story.
Dick Taylor is a member of the Emory Rehabilitation Hospital’s Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association Program. He is also a member of their stroke support group there at Emory Rehab. Visiting with Dick now, you would not have a clue that he had a stroke less than 3 years ago. He had one side of his body paralyzed and could not walk, talk, feed himself, etc.
Read Dick’s story in the The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation online magazine.
Nicolas Uppal is a new 2015 Brain Injury Peer Visitor with the Brain Injury Peer Visitor Association. He sustained a brain injury and spinal cord injury in a motorcycle crash.
Read Nicholas’ story.
“Hello. On December 11, 2008 I had a brain stem stroke which rendered me ‘locked in.’ As of today, I have had an amazing recovery and am back to doing a lot of the everyday things I enjoy.”
Read more about Wes and watch this YouTube video of Wes’ incredible recovery.
Twenty-year-old Erica Wagner was injured in 2013 in a near-fatal car crash. She lost control of the car, and her head and both arms came out of the driver’s window as she slammed into the cement dividing wall on the freeway. Erica was non-responsive for 22 days (was in a vegetative state for 2 months) – then in the hospital for 21 months.
Read Erica’s amazing story and watch this video about Erica made by one of her college friends. Erica is a beautiful young lady and currently back in college taking a few courses. She is talking, walking, and helping others less fortunate than herself.
Ana was in college — a 4.0 student, volunteered at numerous organizations, played basketball. Ana’s life changed when she was in a head-on car wreck. Both of her lungs were punctured, she had compound fractures and a severe brain injury requiring five surgeries.
Ana’s story is told in this YouTube video. You will learn what it means to “Fight Like Ana.” In Ana’s own words, “I won’t settle for 2nd place, except for God”.
Beryl Waters is a Brain Injury Peer Visitor at Piedmont Atlanta and at Shepherd Center. In 1993 she had two aneurysms just weeks apart. She recovered and went back to work but retired in 1994, and now dedicates her life to helping others as a very active volunteer.
Read this inspirational article about Beryl in Shepherd Center’s Fall 2019 Spinal Column magazine.
Molly, a student a Auburn, was driving along a highway in Alabama in early February, 2008 when she collided with an oncoming truck. She sustained a severe brain injury and remained in ICU for three weeks. She was then transferred to Shepherd Center, where she underwent multiple rigorous therapies, and she emerged a victorious young lady with great potential! Molly and her mom, Mary, are now Peer Visitors at Shepherd Center. Read an article (PDF) that appeared in the fall 2008 edition of the Spinal Column chronicling a week in Molly’s life at Shepherd.
Molly was part of a very compelling Public Service Announcement and request for NOT TEXTING WHILE DRIVING in which she shares her own story of injury and recovery.
Also, watch this video about Molly — this is her video resume. Molly graduated from college and is ready to go back to work. NOTE: This video worked! As of April, 2015, Molly has a job.
Leslee shares her story, which began with a horrendous headache and several misdiagnoses. Her “saga,” as she calls it, includes three aneurysms and surgeries for those. Then after a second brain surgery she had not one but two strokes. A subsequent fall caused a concussion. Leslee says, “I went in as Leslee and came out a stranger.”
Read more about Leslee’s struggles, her recovery, and living the fulfilled life she now leads. Her website is thereisasolutioninc.com.
"Brain Injury Is ..." Brain Injury Defined By People Who Are Living With It
Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.
Michelle replied on Permalink
I know exactly how you feel, and I feel the VERY same way most of the time. I am sorry, I wish I could find a fix, either for us or for society.
God bless you and here is to the hope that we can find enough each day to keep us on the positive side of things. (When I know most days are rough)
Something that helps me is prayers (from myself) and others so if you are a prayer I would greatly appreciate any prayers, and I will be praying for you and others with our same concerns. Another thing is an app on my phone called Lessons in Life Quotes. It has hundreds of inspiring quotes.
Here is a VERY brief background on my situation: I was an LPN for eight years and was able to go back and get my RN degree (Lifelong dream) It was HARD, I had four kids and drove 2 ½ hours one way 4-5 days a week for a year and a half. I received my Registered Nursing degree in 2010. (Next to my wedding, the birth of my kids and grandbabies -- It was the MOST amazing day of my life)
Then in 2014 (in 5 days it will be FIVE years) I had two strokes, and then a ruptured brain aneurysm which required a month in ICU on a ventilator. I had many setbacks: bacterial meningitis, vasospasms, hydrocephalus, double pneumonia. It also affected my hypothalamus which causes temperature irregulation. It could be 50 degrees Fahrenheit and I'll be sweating in a tank top and shorts. It is just another ANNOYING one of the million effects of this.
I know I have a lifetime ventriculoperitoneal shunt (VP Shunt). I have lost so much and now have been diagnosed with a rare condition called Moyamoya. My left carotid artery is 100% blocked so I have been told to watch for right-sided stroke. I was only 40 when this happened, and now 45. Most people don't survive. I do understand that.
Like you, some days I think "what is the benefit?"
That's enough negativity out of me today. Have a wonderful day and God bless.
Geoffrey replied on Permalink
In rehab I too could not look into the mirror in my bathroom. For the same reason. Thanx Dawn.
cathy replied on Permalink
I decided today I needed to start some sort of therapy I had emergency brain surgery two years ago and went from a high functioning surgical RN to a retired angry, depressed person. I had never thought about what I would do in retirement, and now I have numbness and limited ability on my left. I also have right, left, and number confusion. My spouse is nonsupportive and says to me "welcome to old age." He also has no patience with my confusion and yells "WHAT DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND?" He also can't understand my inability to cope with loud music or radio noise. He blames me for doing it on purpose to piss him off. Sorry for the long complaint! I feel isolated and alone.
PVT. Rickard replied on Permalink
It feels like I’m not in the real world anymore. Confusion, moments of clarity, more confusion, you can hear things but you aren’t listening, like the sound the parents make in Charlie Brown movies “wa wa wa” monotone honks you aren’t listening to. Anxiety not of physical harm but of not being understood, as if I had some type of autism. Used to be smarter and articulate now just trying to achieve bare minimum. Used to be pretty empathetic but it seems like I have none to spare for others, I spend it all on my self. Self fulfilling prophecies don’t apply to it and there is no initiative to take to get over it. Take the help you can and let time heal. Don’t make anymore dumb decisions.
Michelle replied on Permalink
Hi, does the PVT. stand for Private? If so think you SOOO Very much for defending our country. I am sorry you are suffering, I to am in your same situation and I couldn't put it in to words like you did thank you soooo much for that. God Bless
Nikki replied on Permalink
Like being on sloww dial up and everyone around you is on High Speed internet
Paul replied on Permalink
My brain has become like a mobile phone. Still clever, but the batteries drain quickly and when the last bar disappears my brainpower goes in one second to zero. Then just stop talking to me please, I can't accept your talking anymore and this annoys me greatly.
Nikki replied on Permalink
Yes 100% best explanation! I often describe it as being on really slow dial-up when everyone around me is on High-speed internet. My DSL up is extremely slow or it just bumps me offline totally
William replied on Permalink
Like living in fear 24 / 7 and no one understand
Michelle replied on Permalink
Dennylee replied on Permalink
U just want to go back to being u; but ur gone. Everything is scary cause it requires thought. Nothing is automatic anymore. Confusion leads to anxiety. Which leads to fear. Which leads to being alone.
tosh replied on Permalink
That is the truth. Nothing is automatic anymore. It's a living hell.
Michelle replied on Permalink
WOW Dennylee You said Exactly what I have wanted to say for YEARS and couldn't bring it to words. THANK YOU
Stan replied on Permalink
It is like living with a demon in your head, being forever careful to contain the enemy within, while it destroys your memories and sense of who you are.
Denylee replied on Permalink
My life now is just snap shots. My wife misses who I was. Me too.
Jennifer replied on Permalink
How do I explain to someone I now have dizzy spells panic attacks anxiety memory loss that I'm slower and things are harder for me when I can't even understand how why this happened or who I am anymore.?!?
Vicki replied on Permalink
Jennifer, you took the words right out of my mouth! My brain surgery didn’t leave me so out of whack that it would be easy for all to see. It left me just off enough that I no longer feel or sometimes think like the way I use to. For me it’s like my “flow” of life was taken.
After my surgery, no one talked to me about the mental health issues I could have after. Nor did we get any paperwork. So “looking fine” on the outside, therefore, left everyone thinking I was ok on the inside. No one believed me. I was told it was just anxiety and to get over it. Thanks, people, not very helpful.
I struggled and searched for answers for four years before I was acknowledged as having brain trauma and that I wasn’t making all this stuff up. My husband threatened divorce as extra added STRESS! Ya, how do you tell someone what is going on in your head, when you can’t even figure it out. All I know is I don’t feel like the same person I was before the surgery. I’m still having a problem with the oh so much SLOWER pace that I have to be at for my brain not to get tangled up in knots, and go crying into the next room.
People tell me to go to a support group. Ok, which one? Brain injury, stress, anxiety, depression, memory impairment, ADHD, bipolar, marriage counseling or possible divorce.
Michelle replied on Permalink
Dennylee replied on Permalink
You can explain but unless you are us; they don't get it. I have people I care about go here on Brainline. If they care, they will take the time and read. If they won't or don't; no need to explain anything
Damaged vet replied on Permalink
I feel like an economy car in a race against super cars
Erika replied on Permalink
Feeling like I don't belong anywhere.
Wondering if death would have been easier.
I look in the mirror and see the same face but then I open my mouth and hear a stranger. Loneliness.
Dani Goodman replied on Permalink
I am so sorry you feel this way. I understand because I felt the very same way and on occasions I still feel that way. Please give a call to someone, anyone when u feel this way. Connect online with me and I will talk with you as well
Kenneth Davis replied on Permalink
Dani I have chemical brain trauma symptoms are ever changing does this ever get better
Paul replied on Permalink
I look into the mirror and see someone who looks similar to me, but it's not me.
The real me is gone.
tosh replied on Permalink
Kim replied on Permalink
In the beginning I remember looking so different i actually looked in the mirror and thought who are you? I now look normal mostly but I'm still trying to figure out who I am now.
Joni replied on Permalink
Erika, this is the first time I have heard anyone mention looking in the mirror. I have the same experience. I see my face, but I don't "see" me. I also feel like I don't belong anywhere, even in my own home. A lot of people (family and friends) get frustrated with all of the behavioral changes, especially since, like most, I look the same on the outside. I have started meditating. Not easy to keep my mind "still", but I am finding that it is helping.
Michelle replied on Permalink
Joni I am sorry, I replied to you and started it off by calling you Erika (I guess I saw you say it and it stuck) Sorry
Michelle replied on Permalink
Erika I feel the Same, I thought about Meditating or Yoga, However I can not get my head to stop long enough to finish a thought, or an activity. UGHHH Best of luck, and God Bless
Joni replied on Permalink
Michelle, no apologies (referring to your second comment). I understand completely. Meditating is tough. My brain wants to keep going and going, so I try to concentrate just on my breathing. Sometimes this works. I am registered for a TBI yoga class that is starting in few weeks and I am terrified. I wish you the best and God Bless you too.
Thomas replied on Permalink
My experience, Post-TBI (and viewed in the most positive way), has been like starting your life all over again. Most obvious to me is that, after the injury, I cannot attend elementary, middle, or high-school again. If anyone can understand that without that educational foundation, attending college (because that is where you find adults) in order to further one's education, could be equated to someone learning to swim by being dropped-off in the ocean not knowing which way to go.
I am not suggesting that recovery (learning to swim) is impossible (depending on the extent of the damage), but the path is littered with hills and valleys. Depending on the Day, those "hills" can be mountains and some of those "valleys" may as well be cliffs.
Thomas replied on Permalink
Imagine an 8 inch funnel full of water with your finger plugging the outlet. Now sprinkle glitter into the water. Imagine that each piece of glitter is a thought or idea. Remove your finger from the bottom of the funnel and then realize that you have no control over which thought or idea will come out next. . . . Welcome to my experience.
I have found humor (as well as truthfulness) in the following quote credited to an unknown author: "Better it is for you to think me a fool, than for me to open my mouth and remove all doubt."
Vicki replied on Permalink
My mTBI happened on July 11 this year from a fall onto rocks. Four and a half months later it still feels frustrating as hell - like I am a stranger even to myself some days. You do things and misunderstand people in a way that you would never have done pre-mTBI when your cognition was at its best. You can no longer control your temper and lose it saying horrible things to the people that care about you most - and feel awful when the emotional launch is over. I struggle to cope with bright and artificial light - not ideal when you have to close your eyes in the car as a passenger and realise driving is not on the horizon anytime soon. I also struggle with noise - not good when you are a teacher! I am still not back at work yet due to the driving I do as a Resource Teacher and my work colleagues do not seem to understand just how crippling the fatigue actually is - it could be deadly if I was back at work. I am also trying to finish a Post Grad paper - retention of detail and the ability to locate the words I want to use in my assignments used to be easy but not now.
My biggest discovery to date and something that took some work to get my head around is that recovery from mTBI is not linear and, even though I look fine on the outside, it is still pretty mucked up on the inside.
Emma replied on Permalink
I describe my BI as if my mental filing cabinet was shaken and the files were all put back in a complete random mess. I've spent the last 18 years reorganizing the filing cabinet and amazed to still find misplaced files. Speech is still difficult.
Patrick replied on Permalink
Feels like you are always on the outside looking in. And that you can only change yourself for one day because in the morning your not the same person you were yesterday
Nompendulo Gumbi replied on Permalink
I feel like nobody understands and as if they think I'm pretending to have the symptoms .
Chrissy replied on Permalink
I feel exactly the same way. I look the same on the outside but have such extreme difficulty dealing with my day and nights. My brain injury is from a 2nd concussion and people do not understand why 11 weeks after, that I am still having issues and not back at work. It's not like I had a stroke or have been in a major car accident.
Mal replied on Permalink
Brain Injury is...
Looking down at your hands, and not recognizing them as your own.
When you speak, and your voice sounds unfamiliar.
Being unable to have a simple conversation because your mind becomes emptier than ever before after only 5 minutes.
Brain Injury is learning to live a life that doesn’t feel like your own. It’s an ongoing battle of feeling like somebody else is driving and you’re just along for the ride.
Matt replied on Permalink
I can't think of a better way to sum it up than Christy:
"A constant struggle for the rest of your life … you know how you used to be and you want your life back … but it won't happen … it's like living in thick fog."
I've used the "fog" analogy many times. You can see what's immediately around you, but trying to think beyond the fog takes enormous effort and is ultimately impossible. And that can be immensely frustrating and brings up feelings of resentment and anger.
John replied on Permalink
Was in a fog for a long time maybe 3 or 4 months. I was an engineer and used complicated computer programs, including Autocad. Lost all knowledge of them never to return. After seven months I became an out of control angry person. The doctor prescribed Celexa (an off label prescription). It worked wonders. I've been taking it 20 years. Tried stopping it twice but uncontrollable anger returned after 3 or 4 days. The left side of my brain is damaged about 15%. Problem spelling and higher math functions.
Anonymous replied on Permalink
Friends often realize that you are not quite the same and sometimes find you strangely off key. I'm often misunderstood and lonely.
Meredith replied on Permalink
Sympathized. People just don't know how this thing works -- worse, no one really does -- and ancient misperceptions are the norm. And that it's such a personal experience doesn't help either...
COZY MCKEEN replied on Permalink
I had brain cancer, about 20 years ago glioblastoma , which I was suppose die in 18 months. but nobody told me and so I keep living and thank God, I had six kids and now I feel like the child. With the way my kids treat me. I feel like they are always talking about me they don't trust me to hold the babies which are my grandchildren. After about five years after my one daughter had her children. She comes in for Thanksgiving and she lets her kids stay overnight at my house. Maybe it's because I got married again. I try helping my brain get stronger by playing brain games on the computer, I have a of trouble with my spelling and my math. Sometimes I wish I didn't survive this cancer, but then I did and now I just live with it. I have wonderful husband who accept me for me. I can't ask for much more I would love My children to visit me more, can't do anything about that either. life throws you a lot of curve balls I got too many.
Karen floyde replied on Permalink
I know how people feel with brain cancer as I've had 3 0perations for the glioma coming back followed by a stroke and partial blindness all cause of epilepsy and I worked fulltime I feel I should have not had surgery as I feel my brain altering it's pathways which scares me it's coming back
COZY MCKEEN Ryan replied on Permalink
I had brain cancer and I forget how to spell and have trouble retaining things all of the time. I feel like I am now the child and I had six children. They don't all understand how I feel how it's not fault, it was something that happen to me.
Trish A. replied on Permalink
2015, I died in my mind. Now I have no idea who I am. I knew what I was. But she is gone. I see the face but the brain is off. MIA Missing In Accident!!!!!! I have changed 180 degrees. I hate the new me. My voice, foods, smells, lights, noise, music. I hate who I am now!!!!!!!!
Sandra replied on Permalink
Waiting for people to be quiet without telling them to shutup so you can
continue with what you were doing, but wanting to tell them to shutup.
Myke replied on Permalink
This is me. + I used to be such a social person. Now I am a homebody.
Vicki replied on Permalink
Totally relate to this - you feel so bad inside when it is your husband and children.
Vulnerable replied on Permalink
Isolation, emotional roller coaster, suicidal, invisible, a different person, over react, angry at doctor's lack of understanding, miss normal interactions and activities
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Motivational Quotes for Stroke Survivors: Get Inspired!
If you’re looking for stroke survivor quotes, you’ve come to the right place.
After scouring Pinterest for the latest inspirational stroke quotes, we compiled our favorites below.
And because we couldn’t help ourselves, we included a mini pep talk with each quote.
Best Stroke Quotes for Motivation on the Road to Recovery
Here are our top stroke survivor quotes:
“The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
What you do daily is what matters. Your brain responds to consistent stimulation. If you want to recover from stroke as quickly as possible, do your rehab daily.
“You can rise up from anything. You can completely recreate yourself.”
When stroke takes away beloved hobbies or independence, you can fight to get it back. Nothing is permanent. You are not stuck. Keep going.
“If you get tired, learn to rest, not quit.”
Sleep is extremely important during stroke recovery. Work hard towards your goals, but know when to listen to your body and rest and recuperate.
“Don’t tell people your plans. Show them your results.”
During stroke recovery, action is key to recovery. Don’t get caught up in talking about your plans. Do them.
“Interrupt anxiety with gratitude”
When you start to feel overwhelmed during stroke recovery, take a moment to find gratitude. Although life may be full of new challenges, you’re still here. You’re still fighting.
“Start thinking wellness, not illness” – Kate Allatt, Stroke Survivor
When you become wellness-minded instead of illness-minded, you’ll start to create space for that wellness to manifest in your life.
“Grow through what you go through.”
Stroke recovery is a challenging time of growth. Stay motivated and you will become stronger after stroke.
“You’re a warrior, warriors don’t give up and they don’t back down. Pick up your sword and fight.”
Want to know another phrase for stroke survivor? Stroke warrior.
“Your body can stand almost anything. It’s your mind that you have to convince.”
If you’re a stroke survivor, your body has proved how resilient it is. Push through stroke rehabilitation with gusto.
“It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.”
Stroke survivors often take two steps forward and one step backwards. If that happens to you, don’t worry, it’s normal! Slow and steady wins the race.
“In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.”
We believe that self-love is a catalyst for healing. That’s why we’ve written about how to overcome shame after stroke.
When you offer words of encouragement for stroke survivors, fill them with love.
“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” -Oprah Winfrey
Daily rehab can be time-consuming and frustrating, but it will help stroke survivors get as close to a full recovery from stroke as possible!
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we fall.” – Confucius
When stroke recovery gets worse, just rest up, keep your head up, and never give up. It always turns around.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
The stroke recovery process can feel overwhelming sometimes, so don’t focus on the whole thing. Just do the next right thing.
Take baby steps and keep going.
Want More Motivation for Stroke Recovery?
Get tips on the emotional side of recovery in our book Healing & Happiness After Stroke: How to Get Back Up After Life Turned Upside Down.
Because stroke recovery is about more than just healing the brain — it’s about rebuilding a life you love.
Our book will show you how to find motivation and emotional healing during this pivotal time.
TBIs occur when the impact of a rapid acceleration, deceleration, or collision causes
a brain injury. TBIs are classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the
extent of damage to the victim's physical and cognitive abilities. TBIs can be
especially dangerous if they disrupt blood flow to the brain or pressure in the skull.
According to the CDC, more than 1.7 million TBIs occur every year.
Of these injuries:
52,000 result in death
14 million require an emergency room visit
TBIs cost $76.5 billion every year.
of TBIs are concussions.
Children, teenagers, and the elderly are most likely to suffer a TBI.
TBIs occur more commonly to males than females.
According to the CDC, the most common causes of TBIs are:
Car accidents: 17%
Common symptoms of TBI:
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury depend on the
severity of the impact and the area of the brain affected.
Lack of motor coordination
Change in sleep patterns
Emotional symptoms such as mood swings
Serious symptoms of TBI:
Difficulty thinking or concentrating
Severe headache or nausea
TBI in sports:
According to the CDC, more than 170,000 TBIs are
suffered by children and teenagers during sports. The
most common causes of these injuries were bicycling,
football, playground activity, basketball, and soccer.
Long-term side effects:
TBI can have long-term side effects. Victims may suffer
from physical and cognitive impairment for month or years
following a TBI. A study published in the Journal of Clinical
and Experimental Psychology found that 60% of TBI victims
showed signs of emotional dysfunction. TBIs also increase
the risk of epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's
disease. Additionally, approximately 5.3 million Americans
are living with a traumatic brain injury related disability.
Call dOliveira & Associates at
1-800-992-6878 for a free consultation
Inspirational brain quotes injury
Brain Injury Inspirational Famous Quotes & Sayings
List of top 11 famous quotes and sayings about brain injury inspirational to read and share with friends on your Facebook, Twitter, blogs.
Top 11 Brain Injury Inspirational Quotes
#1. I realized that they could take everything from me except my mind and my heart. They could not take those things. Those things I still had control over. And I decided not to give them away. - Author: Nelson Mandela
#2. For me, the sketching of dresses was about fantasy and dreams. In my little room at home, I felt that I was somewhere else. In Paris, for instance. - Author: Alber Elbaz
#3. For style beyond the genius never dares. - Author: Petrarch
#4. We wish we could show you the world as it sleeps. Then you'd never have any doubt about how similar, how trusting, how astounding and vulnerable we all are. - Author: David Levithan
#5. Ideas are, in truth, forces. Infinite, too, is the power of personality. A union of the two always makes history. - Author: Henry James
#6. Reading is more important to me than eating. - Author: John Piper
#7. The whisper of the blood and the pleading of the bone marrow. - Author: Knut Hamsun
#8. A year ago, you wanted to give up because we were losing, and now, you want to give up because we're winning. - Author: Ann Althouse
#9. I myself do not believe in explaining anything. - Author: Shel Silverstein
#10. We will ensure that associates continue to possess unsurpassed product knowledge and maintain their dedication to customer service and respect for their colleagues and for the communities in which they work and live. - Author: Arthur Blank
#11. There are people in many other states who are cheering us. - Author: Bill Vaughan
Inside me his kladenets convulse and vomit warmth I, almost without feelings, with only one real sensation of eternal bliss, fall on the grass. I do not need anything, just madly I do not want to leave here. I already love him. My god is floundering in the river.
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He pushed me and I had to obey, because he had a knife. In the booth, he unbuttoned his fly and ordered me to kneel, while demonstrating the knife. I got down on my knees, he bent my head to the penis and said: "Let's suck, bitch!".