(aka) Brain Injury Association of America, Inc.
1608 Spring Hill Road, Suite 110
Vienna, VA 22182
On August 29, 1989 the life I had know for 16 years changed overnight. As a belted passenger in a one car automobile accident, I sustained a closed traumatic brain injury (CTBI). I immediately became comatose. My brainstem twisted, becoming bruised and swollen, damaging the innermost regions of my brain. This twisting caused the right hemisphere to hit the inside of my skull. The doctors' initial diagnosis was grim--I'd be bedridden for life. Upon regaining consciousness and undergoing extensive rehabilitation, I was told the possibility of returning to high school was unlikely and higher education was impossible.The neurological damage caused physical impairments: I couldn't walk and had paralysis on the left side of my body, but the most psychologically draining impairment was my inability to speak, eat or swallow, my tongue was paralyzed. Although my voice sounds different, I can talk and eat and also walk; I am fortunate. I graduated from college; have a M.A. in Writing and I'm currently pursuing another masters in Special Education emphasis in Acquired Brain Injury.
In 13 years I have overcome some deficits; however, my life will never be the same. I'll never be what I could have become.
--Katherine A. Kimes