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Brian's Story



     April 9, 2004
       My name is Debbie Miller and my son is Brian. Brian is 31, 6'2" and
at the moment about 240 lbs. His accident happened on 11/22/96. He was in
Motocross (dirt bike) accident. Brian was practicing for a race he had
coming up. He was jumping a triple jump when something went very wrong.
According to everyone there they thought he knew this and was trying to bail
off the bike when they believe his kneepads hooked on the handlebars and
pulled him and the bike down together. Brian went one way and the bike went
the other upon hitting the ground. Brian landed on top of his head from
approx. 30 ft out of the air going about 55-60 mph and then continued to
bounce down the track about 5 times, each time landing on his head. Yes, he
had a helmet, a very good one, and was in full gear. The helmet was okay but
unfortunately he wasn't. The owner of the racetrack was reluctant to call
fight for life and took his time in doing so. It was around 30 minutes
before he received any help. By the time the paramedics got there he was not
breathing and completely purple. If anyone had tried to take his helmet off,
we would have lost him right there, but luckily no one did. Later, I learned
they had no hope of him making it to the hospital. But he did. An ER nurse
told me they also had no hope for him and had already started procedures of
donating his organs, when a doctor seen something in him and told everyone
to hold on this guy is fighting hard for his life and he thought he just
might have a chance. He just kept fighting and he did make it.


      His injury was to the right side of the Brain, the thalamus and a
hematoma in the opening of the brain stem, a bruised kidney and a small
scrape on his leg. It was hard to believe he could be hurt so bad, he looked
so normal, but he was bad. The first 29 days were touch and go. His Inner
Cranial Pressures were between 30 and 74 for 29 days straight. He was in a
coma and also a chemical induced (pentabarb) coma. He had absolutely no
brain activity. We were not allowed to talk to him, touch him, turn on the
lights or stimulate him in any way for 29 days. They said he was barely a
level above brain dead hanging by a thread. We were told on 3 separate
occasions to make the decision to leave him on life support or not. Each
time we were faced with that decision he miraculously got better and we were
relieved of making that decision. The doctors started out saying his blood
clot was at the entrance of the brain stem and if it enters any further he
would be brain dead. Thank god it didn't. They also said that his brain stem
had been sheared and he would most likely remain in a vegetative state the
rest of his life. We had decided to let him go and not make him live that
kind of life. Then the Doctor came to us and said, "This guy is fighting
hard for his life, and you no longer have to make that decision he is making
that decision himself, he wants to live". He said he could not medically
explain it, but where the brain stem appeared to be sheared is no longer
sheared but appears now just be stretched, and added he had never seen
anything like this before and even if they took him off of life support they
thought he would still make it because he is one strong guy fighting very
hard for his life. So the decision was out of our hands and into Gods. That,
I was thankful for I don't know if I could have lived with our decision
never knowing if it was the right one. Now I know it would have been the
wrong decision. He spent 29 days in ICU, 1 month in multi trauma, 3 months
in acute long stay, 3 months in a so called rehab (where he received
absolutely no rehab and was going downhill fast) then came home. The
prognosis was he would probably never be able to walk, talk or eat again,
and would be completely paralyzed on the left side. Then we were told  "He
will never be anything. He belongs in a nursing home. He is going to remain
in a vegetative state the rest of his life." What was really going on is,
they drained his insurance.so no more "rehab".

My response was "ABSOLUTELY
NOT, PACK HIM UP HE IS COMING HOME." They fought me hard on that one but I
won. The day I brought my "vegetated son" home he let out a hugh sigh of
relief (for the first time) and from that day on has been improving every
day and has made incredible gains and continuing to do so. We have been
through almost everything you can think of 11 surgeries, contractures, foot
drop (thanks to the "rehab"), spinal meningitis, numerous urinary tract
infections, seizures, choking, aspirating, asthma, autonomic hyperreflexia,
bowel problems, bad aides and no aides to help out, and dealing with
"Medicaid" which is another long story.


The good news is he is doing very well. He is now with the exception of some
short-term memory loss is very normal cognitively. The short-term memory is
improving all the time, even 7 years later. He is very quick witted, smart,
and has a wonderful sense of humor. He talks, eats and drinks by mouth and
also feeds himself. Brian started moving his paralyzed left arm and leg in
his 6th year and we are working on getting it stronger. He almost has full
use of his right arm and leg and they are extremely strong. He stands in a
standing frame and has been told that he is capable of walking again. He
just recently made a record of sitting up by himself for 45 mins. It has now
been 7 yrs since his accident and it has been a very rough road. The first 4
years his health was very unstable and we were frequent visitors to the ER.
He made improvements but they were very slow going and there were a lot of
setbacks, but he was still making improvements. In our 4th year we found an
acupuncturist from China here in Colorado that specializes in stroke and
Traumatic Brain Injury who is very good. He told me he could heal Brian's
brain and I believe that that is exactly what he is doing. Brian's health
and abilities have done nothing but improved since the day we started going
to him. He is now very healthy, no more visit to ER. He has made incredible
gains cognitively and physically and continues to make gains every day. I
also take him to a chiropractor, whom is very good, for treatments and
cranial sacral therapy and has made incredible gains with his body and in
helping him connect his mind with his body.


It has been a long hard road but well worth it. Because of the love, faith,
determination, and persistence we give them, as caretakers, all of our loved
ones can improve and lead better lives. So I hope if your reading this and
you are new into the BI World don't lose hope. They can continue to improve.
Hang in there!
Brian's mom
Debbie

 

 

This site was put together for Brian by

Tracy Spracklen.