Posted on June 15, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Kevin

Before Severe Brain Injury: Kevin Part Two

Before severe brain injury, Kevin was 34 when he got hurt – married with one child.  He had a job with the Morgan Corporation.

What did you do at the Morgan Corporation before severe brain injury?

I was a painter.  I painted truck bodies.  Sometimes I painted the cab where the body sits, separate, if the customer wanted a different color or something.  Sometimes I base clear-coated them.  I was a painter.  At first I worked on the assembly line but then when things got slow they asked me if I wanted to go the paint shop.  Oh, I’d like to paint, you know. Yeah, took pride in what I did.

How long had you worked for Morgan Corporation as a painter before severe brain injury?

14 years and three-quarters.

Have you ever gone back to work since your accident?


So you would have started there right when you were 20, 21 years old then before severe brain injury?

Yeah, about 20 years old.  Back in ’86.  December of ’86.  ’86, I think I was 20 years old, because before then I worked in a grocery store.

So you had just gotten married before the accident, before severe brain injury?

Yeah. I think, see she wanted me to get married but I wasn’t ready yet and then I changed my mind in 2000.

Did you have a daughter with your ex-wife?

Yeah, oh yeah.  She was born, Taylor was born in ’97.  Taylor Justice.   And Taylor was no accident either.  Because I was ready, by then I was, I want a child then and, and back then I thought I was more mature than (I was in) my 20s.

What did you like to do with your free time before severe brain injury?

I liked to, I liked to play golf, I liked to shoot baskets, work out.

Did you play basketball in high school?

No, I was, I always played against guys that used to play on the team and the coach my senior year, as we were walking out, my coach told me you should have gone out.  He used to watch us play and we used to play basketball, I used to play against those guys on the team on the playground you know at Jefferson Grade School in the summertime.

I remember one time I, my senior summer  we all played five on five and the, his name’s Eric, he was on the team and they stole the ball from us and I went back and stood up straight like Pat Ewing whatever, and he was going to dunk it and I blocked it, he was trying to dunk it you know.  And then after that shot, after that play, everybody on the team that played against us, the Crugers, didn’t want to play anymore.

And get this now, I had a class reunion, it would be my 20th one, at the country club in Janesville.  And, and Eric who played for Craig and all, went to school with him, you know since junior high, and he came up to me and asked how I was doing and all that.  And then I bet you $100.00 buck he’s going to say, he’s going to ask me, see if I remember the, the block shot you know and I didn’t.  And he didn’t say nothing about it and, but at your next class reunion I’m going to say something about that because, but after that you know, after I went home that night, or back to the group home you know I why didn’t I mention that?  That’s why he came up to me, you know what I’m saying?

Did you graduate from high school before severe brain injury?

Yeah.  Graduated school, in 1985.

Were you a good student?

Yeah.  But I should have tried more, see I wanted to be an accountant.

What else did you like to do before you got hurt and suffered before severe brain injury?

Play basketball, oh yard work.  Plant flowers.  Listen to John Mellencamp music.

He also owned his own home.

1996 I bought the house. I took ten grand down, I took a loan on my 401k to put ten grand down.  He lowered the price to $89,900.00 on the house.  Oh boy, the basement was all fixed up you know and the ceiling like that and lights like that downstairs.

And upstairs I painted red countertops, you know the red, like barn red and tile, the kitchen part you know.  The old cabinets you know and all that.  And I took pride, you know and then I painted the living room but it didn’t match the carpet, you know the shade, I was going to change it someday.  Because I painted, I painted it to a light purple living room and –

Coming Tomorrow Part Three – Memories of Time in Rehab

By Attorney Gordon Johnson

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447