Traumatic Brain Injury | John’s Story

(electronic chime music)>>It was right before 11:00
PM that John was assaulted. And, he had fallen
backwards and hit his head on a rock from the assault. And, was out for, I don’t
know, six or seven minutes, I guess, while I was
scrambling to call 911. And, had no idea he had hit a rock.>>When he came to us, he already had a breathing tube in and he was found only to have some brain stem function.>>A young doctor came out, female, and she said, “We’ve
called in a surgical team. “Your husband stopped being responsive, “and we’re gonna have to operate.” And, I was just blown away. And, she said, “I’m sorry to inform you, “he has brain damage.”>>The top priority was getting him to the operating room to relieve the pressure in his brain. He also had a skull fracture, and that indicated the severity of the fall that he took. So, I was not very optimistic at first, when I was talking to his wife and his son and his family. As the days went by, it was very clear that he was a very strong man. And he, you know, he
had his ups and downs. But, he gradually emerged from his coma, gradually was able to breathe on his own. He gradually started having vocalizations.>>What I recognized when I first woke up was that I need to get better. There’s things I used to do in life, to try and keep my health better. Like, I used to run a
little bit, you know, like a couple miles. I felt like that was a good thing. I would try and do as much as I could to stay healthy, all year. I think that my body being
in good shape before, helped for me to get through.>>Mr. Ebmeyer was one of
the most determined patients, I think I’ve seen. He was so highly
functioning to begin with, and he began, as he
recovered and he became aware of his deficits, he was
determined to work on them.>>Everything about him is different. He walks like this. He lost 35 pounds, mostly muscle.>>If I went outside to walk,
to get some exercise in, I could start with like
one lap around the house, and then do multiple, but I had to use a helmet.>>One of the stories
that Christina told me, was that he would take
walks on his property, because I had told him, “Stay active, “be sure you don’t stay
inside and lie in bed.” And to get exercise, and to be out, and be thinking, and to try
to build up his strength.>>Well, I came home one
day and he was walking and there was a pile of
rocks in the driveway. And I thought, what are those rocks for? But then later, they were gone. And, I didn’t find out
till a couple weeks later, when I was graciously
invited to walk with him. He asked me to join him, and he said, “Wait a minute,
we have to go here first.” And, he went out to the driveway and he lined up nine rocks. And I said, “What are those for?” And he said, “Watch.” So, we made a lap around,
and we came back around and he took his foot
and he kicked the rock back into the bed. “‘Cause that’s how I keep track.” And he came back in,
and kicked another rock. So, he knew he wanted to do nine laps, that’s what he was up to,
and that’s how he kept track.>>It’s just something he came up with, very organized thinking. And, that to me, was a great indication of how determined he was.>>I’m working now, but
not the hours I used to. So, what I’m hopin’ to
do, is to do the level of work I used to do, and
they’re supporting me, so that’s good news. It’s a long period of time,
that it takes for it all to come together. So, now I’m understanding that. So, I’ll work on it a little harder and hopefully it’ll be all behind me. (electronic beat music)

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