As remarkable as the human body’s ability to heal after serious injury is, some injuries never heal completely. For example, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause effects, both subtle and obvious, that last for years, decades, even the rest of your life.

Thus, if you suffer a TBI as a child, your entire adult life could be affected. In one man’s case, a TBI he sustained in a bicycle accident 50 years ago is still an issue today — though the man has not let the effects of his injury hold him back.

TBI at ten years old

The man was ten years old when he had his bike accident. He spent six weeks in a coma. Doctors operated on his brain several times. After he awoke, he had to go to physical therapy for six months to relearn how to walk and talk. To this day, the man has no memory of his life before the accident.

As a child, he eventually recovered enough to go back to school, but kids made fun of the left side of his face, which was paralyzed due to brain damage. He also had trouble keeping up with his classmates academically. As a teenager, he began drinking alcohol to fit in. Soon, he developed a drinking problem and often felt suicidal.

Turning his life around

Fortunately, the man quit drinking in his 20s. He went to college, where he met his wife of 27 years. They have a son together. When the child was young, the man was a stay-at-home parent For ten years, he headed a local organization dedicated to TBI awareness and prevention.

It’s inspiring how this man was able to adapt to the challenges of his TBI disability. But it’s undeniable that his injury likely changed the course of his life. When a child, teenager or young adult sustains a brain injury, their future potential careers and enjoyment of life can be greatly reduced.