Adam’s Story: Post-accident Recovery

110 (1)-adamAdam and two friends were tooling down the freeway on their motorcycles one fine Sunday in October when the accident occurred. Adam, who liked to feel the breeze on his shaved head, was not wearing a helmet. Changing lanes, he was struck by a van and thrown 20 feet in the air. Adam slid another 500 feet before coming to a stop, critically injured. During the hours and days that followed, Adam lay in a coma, his skull fractured in five places, while the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit team maximized his chances of survival with nonstop monitoring of EEG, intracranial pressure, brain oxygenation and temperature. Adam’s mother still has photos on her cell phone: Adam in the NSICU, eyes closed, his head distorted from the massive swelling. “Had it not turned out so well, I would have deleted all these images,” Adam’s mother explains. Instead, the pictures reinforce “the miracle of the whole thing.” Three weeks after the accident Adam was moved to the Drake Center for Post-Acute Care, where UCNI’s neurotrauma rehabilitation specialists took over the next phase of his care. Adam recalls getting out of bed and trying to walk for the first time, feeling “like I was a year old.” Five months post-accident, Adam’s doctors did a double-take when they saw the slim young man with no outward sign of injury. Inside the injured brain, progress continued with the help of exercise and a speech therapist. “I’ve been blessed to make it through,” Adam says. “It was a life lesson for me, something I need to deal with. It also brought love into my life. I had a bunch of friends, but I never realized how loyal they were.”

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