The bell rang at
3:00PM, signifying the end of another day in my life. I was a high-school
senior, the captain of the track team, and had to hurry and change
for practice. I was going to a University of Miami basketball game
with friends that night.
After practice, I ate dinner, kissed my mother
goodbye and drove to a friend's house. He borrowed his parents'
mini-van, we stopped to fill the tank up, I put the seatbelt in
The next thing I remember was lying in a hospital
bed five days later. I had a respirator down my throat. Luckily,
my mother was next to me - this is the story she told:
"After leaving the gas station on Monday,
February 13, 1995, we crossed an intersection that we had driven
through hundreds of times, but this time we were broad-sided. I
was unrestrained and was ejected out the window as the van spun.
My final landing spot was 40 feet away from the van. I was rushed
to the trauma center in Hollywood, Florida, where I was diagnosed
with fractured ribs, a collapsed left lung, and a severe left frontal
epidural hematoma due to a skull fracture. The first days were traumatic
for my family. Was I going to live? If so, was I going to have brain
damage and to what extent? The next few days my body reacted well
to treatment and I was out of Intensive Care four days later. I
was moved to the Neurological Unit, and here I started to remember
scattered events. The next weeks were tough, I wanted to give up".
I was unable to attend my last semester of high
school, but my school allowed me to graduate and walk with my classmates.
I was on the road to recovery and was determined to attend college
that fall. My doctors sent me for neuropsychological testing. These
tests confirmed that I had sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury.
I began a rigorous cognitive and physical therapy program. The doctors
agreed to let me begin college with a reduced course load in the
fall because I had to take things slow.
However, I never gave up. I graduated from the
University of Miami with honors in December of 1999 and the University
of Miami School of Medicine in May 2004!
I survived a traumatic brain injury - a result
of a severe motor vehicle crash - and I was not wearing my seatbelt.
Photo ©2005. Property of Adam Blomberg
© 2005, Adam L. Blomberg, M.D.