letter to forrest willett


i saw the aftermath of the accident. i was living on reeves rd, setting the table, when i looked out the window and saw emergency vehicles. we thought the farmer, adam, who was in his 80s, had had a stroke or a heart attack.

but when we ran down the hill, it wasn’t adam. it was a car in the field next to us. your car.

i’m glad you survived. i’m glad you’re telling your story. here’s mine.

i was biking home from work in july, 2008, when my brain imploded. i had a cavernous malformation i didn’t know about and it burst–it’s kinda like a stroke but sneakier. all those years of wearing a helmet paid off. i hit a steel pole. broke my left collarbone, but not my noggin. my helmet, with a piece missing, i gave to the bike shop and told them to use it to convince people to wear one. i bought another.

no, my abi [acquired brain injury] occurred when when they operated. they had to cut some nerves to get to the cavernous malformation deep in my brain, confining me to a wheelchair and leaving me with a speech impediment and a few other deficits. i type slowly with one finger. but at least i can type!

most of the time i don’t feel sorry for myself. most of the time i feel my brain injury is the best thing that happened to me, though it’s cost me. it made me face reality, but i wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

i spent the next few years in hospitals and a group home, undergoing rehab.

but the real rehab as you know comes from real life. so i checked out of the group home in welland and moved back to midland. but it seems services are way better in barrie, so i might move there.

your story is so affirmative. i eat right and exercise. usually, i sleep well but today [2013-05-08] i am running on about 3 hours sleep cuz i volunteered overnight, staying awake while homeless people slept; i read baseballs don’t bounce. next month to hope to join a local brain injury support group.

i could go on and on about the last 5 years, but i won’t.

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