It was eleven years ago today… right around noon, probably, that a major milestone was crossed in my life. I had been in a coma for six weeks: since a car accident on April 14th, 2001. On May 29th (the day after Memorial Day… just like this year) I was moved from Intensive Care at the University of Arkansas or Medical Sciences hospital (UAMS) to Baptist Health Rehab Institute (BRI). After being there an hour or so, I woke up, tried to get out of bed, and collapsed on the floor. More significantly, though, my memory started working. My coma was done.
Every year on this day, we remember that experience: if only to give thanks to the many doctors and nurses (who I don’t remember… though I’ve met a few since) at UAMS and the doctors and therapists at BRI who guided my course of treatment… and, of course, to thank the many friends in Arkansas who supported me in that time, and the friends in Toronto who’ve continued to support me since.
Last night (Wake Up Day eve? hmmm….) we had “Volunteer Appreciation Night” for the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST). Currently the chair of the Communications Committee and a peer mentor (and photographer, of course), I’ve been involved with the group for the group for the last several years. I was honoured last night to receive their “Volunteer of the Year” award.