Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury- A Survivor’s story

Did you know that June is Brain Injury Awareness Month? It’s an important time to raise awareness about brain injuries and their impact. Keep in mind, a brain injury can occur in a split second! Four hundred and fifty two Canadians experience a significant brain injury daily, which is equivalent to approximately one individual every three minutes.

In Canada, brain injuries occur at a rate of 500 out of 100,000 individuals every year. That means 100,000 Canadians will experience a brain injury annually. Every year, around 20,000 hospitalizations in Canada (excluding Quebec) are attributed to TBI. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability for Canadians under 40 years old.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and nontraumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injur

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and nontraumatic brain injuries can both result in brain injuries. An external force such as a motor vehicle accident, a fall, or a sport accident can cause a TBI, which alters the functioning of the brain. However, non-traumatic brain injuries are caused by internal factors like strokes, near drownings, or aneurysms.

When treated properly, some brain injuries are mild, where symptoms gradually fade away. More severe cases may cause permanent disability, however. A person may require long-term therapy and rehabilitation following a brain injury in these situations. It’s crucial to understand the different types of brain injuries and their potential impact on individuals’ lives.

My Brain Injury Story

 Unmasking Brain Injury
My mask from Unmasking Brain Injury

My life was forever altered in a single moment.


ATV accident
July 2014


I reside in a long-term care facility in Ontario, Canada. I am thirty-three years old, and this is my journey. On July 29, 2014, I suffered a traumatic brain injury after losing control of an ATV in Prince Edward County. Unfortunately, I couldn’t navigate a sharp turn after going over a rise in the road, leading to a collision with a nearby tree.

Before the accident, my ex-boyfriend didn’t provide much guidance on operating an ATV. That night, I was riding without a helmet on a dark country road, trying to navigate a sharp turn of over 90 degrees, with minimal experience driving the vehicle.

At the young age of twenty-four, the accident occurred, and my memory of the events leading up to it is completely blank. I rely solely on the accounts of others to piece together what happened. Ornge airlifted me from Picton Hospital to Kingston General, where I spent a total of one hundred and four days, dividing my time between two hospitals.

The first recollection I have after the accident is waking up in a room adorned with blue walls, where I was informed of the unfortunate incident. The hospital’s scans unveiled various injuries, including bleeding in my brain, a basilar skull fracture, damage to my frontal lobe, and seven other fractures. Consequently, I received a diagnosis of a severe traumatic brain injury.

Following my accident, I had to relearn numerous skills that were once effortless for me – such as speaking, moving, and different motor and cognitive functions. Recovering from a brain injury can feel like a solitary and isolating path, but I am grateful for the unwavering support of my parents throughout this challenging journey.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Having a traumatic brain injury means dealing with not just the injury itself, but also with the lack of understanding from others about its effects on your daily life and the losses you have experienced. It’s an invisible injury that makes it hard for people to see the struggles you face internally. People assume I’m completely healthy just because I don’t have a visible disability.  It becomes even more challenging when it appears that old friends and family members struggle the most to adjust to the changes in me.

The aftermath of my accident has resulted in the breakdown of both friendships and family relationships, compounding the loss I already experienced due to my brain injury.

Some days are better than others, but overexertion can leave me feeling drained or sick. Lack of proper rest can even lead to seizures. I often find myself dealing with physical exhaustion and mental fatigue. Loud noises and crowded places can easily overwhelm my brain, making it hard to focus on conversations when multiple people are talking at once. Background noise also makes it challenging to concentrate on a single voice during a conversation. Rest is crucial for me, even if some may think I sleep too much. Simple tasks can be mentally draining, especially when I’m already tired.

As a survivor, I sometimes need breaks from tasks to recharge. I’ve noticed that tasks that used to be easy now require more time and effort, like making my bed. Behavior problems can indicate that I’m struggling with a situation, not just my mental health. Over time, I’ve learned that the emotional effects of a TBI can be just as debilitating as the physical ones.

Unfortunately, I have lost my freedom and am now considered legally incapable. This implies that I will be living in a care facility for the long term, since there are few choices available for people my age. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that my health will decline as I age.

My life took a drastic turn due to my ex-boyfriend’s lack of guidance while teaching me how to drive an ATV. The accident likely occurred because I couldn’t navigate a sharp curve.

Brain Injury

Every day feels like an uphill battle. It may be tempting to give up, but I am fortunate to have my parents as an unwavering support system.

This year marks a decade since my traumatic brain injury. I plan to spend the day with my mother, focusing on embracing my new reality instead of dwelling on what I’ve lost.

duty of care

Throughout the years, I’ve been fortunate to connect with other TBI survivors who have generously opened up about their experiences. It’s clear to see that each TBI is unique, with no two cases being exactly the same.

I am committed to spreading awareness about the significance of safeguarding your head.

Although traumatic brain injury is not something that can be completely treated, there are steps you can implement to lower the chances of it happening. Wearing a helmet, for instance, decreases the chances of brain injury by 88%. Seatbelts are also recognized for their beneficial effects.

Brain Injury


Even a slight brain injury, such as a minor concussion, can result in ongoing problems. Educate yourself on the indicators and effects of a concussion. Some of these signs may consist of headaches, vision problems, feeling disoriented, mood swings, and temporary loss of consciousness.


I’m aware that I’m not the only one who has gone through the consequences of a serious head injury. I hope this has provided you with a better understanding of what a brain injury entails.


Megan- Written with the assistance of my Mom.

Posts created 3

9 thoughts on “Traumatic Brain Injury- A Survivor’s story

  1. Thankyou for sharing your story. I myself have had a Brain Injury April 20th 2021. I had a Brain Aneurysm and a Stroke. Spent 6 weeks in Hospital 3 in KGH and 3 1/2 weeks at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston Ontario. Yes I am a Survivor and I live with Memory issues and side effects from Stroke . I get great help and Guidance fom the Brain Injury Services .

    1. Hello Karen, Megan too was involved with the brain injury services around Belleville before moving out of town. She was also at KGH and Providence Care Hospital in Kingston. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  2. Thank you for sharing your stories.. I could not imagine the life altering change this has on a person. Meg the day I heard about your accident my heart just dropped. I know the struggles you have to go through. Thank you for sharing and helping to teach people why safety is very important.. You are a very strong women.. Love you cuz❤️❤️

  3. It was 14 ❤️ years ago offically at approximately 11:33 am on Friday May 21st 2010 at about 6 months pregnant with my 1st and only son Evan, I suffered a unnormal cluster of brain cells burst in my brain. Abi (acquired brain injury to call it). Something I was born with. It couldn’t be avoided. Most are left or right, mine was unfortunately right in the middle and because it was so serious and servier they had to air lift me to Ottawa to the civic and deliver Evan there. Because he was not ready to be delivered, he unfortunately didn’t survive 😞. Only lived or well survived a day. I spent a month in a coma and then 3 at the rehab center and December that same year I was awarded the opportunity to go to the Robin Easy Center or REC in Dunrobin, which is a home developed based on a police officer who also suffered a tbi (traumatic brain injury). It houses 6 clients at a time suffering or experiencing, i dont like to say suffering, nearly the same situation. You have your own bedroom each. You share a kitchen and living room and 2 bathrooms at each end, plus a powder room I believe. They basically teach you how to adjust to your new life style again and get back to it somewhat normal. I was there for 9 months. Then, technically I graduated and came back home to a different life that I had to adjust to. That same year I was scheduled for my full G license but never got there, which is kinda ok cuz I was never the best driver anyways lol, too much like my father. Due to some amazing, fast thinking docs not limited to: Dr. Agbi, Dr Malone, Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Kerner who delivered Evan I am still here to this day. I am eternal grateful to all of them. Plus I have an amazing support system at home: my incredible sweet boss mother Cheryl Kilby, step dad Joel Kilby, little not so little sis booger aka Destiny and my amazing bro from afar Geordie as well as some amazing bestie who have always been there for me Kate Cleaver and Melinda McLellan and Kailey Brady was there for me in the beginning she kept Kate in the loop on things

    1. Thank you, Kayla, for graciously sharing your story with us. I am deeply saddened to learn about the heartbreaking loss of your beloved son, Evan. The experience of losing a child is an unimaginable pain that no parent should ever have to endure. It is heartening to know that you have a strong support system in place. Please continue to persevere, for you are a testament to the strength and resilience of a survivor.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your story! You are amazing! Unfortunately, the common issues & lack of understanding of others due to not enough information/awareness to the public is not there enough! We are on the same mission to change that & give support to others.

  5. My daughter suffered a TBI when she was 14, after being struck by a vehicle while walking her dogs. Now almost 28 and she lives at home. She will most likely never live alone. Most of the time she is capable, but she suffers from short term memory loss because of the injury. So when it rises, she forgets things like where she is going, what she is doing. She has almost set our kitchen on fire a few times when she forgot that she was making a meal and fell asleep. She has gone thru training in hopes of getting a job but turned out not to be. They discovered it takes her 3 to 4 times as long as a “normal” person to learn a task.

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