Posted on March 16, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 32 of 32 in the series Kelly

Friends Help TBI Recovery: Kelly Part Thirty Two

In part thirty-two and the conclusion of Kelly’s story, she talks about how friends help TBI recovery and what part her friends took in helping her recover.

We’ve been doing this a long time and I always want to give the people who contribute their time an opportunity to leave the viewers and the readers with what they think is important.  What is it that you would like to say to people who are either  beginning to recover awareness after a severe injury or they’re caregivers, to their loved ones, the people that know that are trying to help them? What is it that you learned from your experience to make their lives better?

Be aware that you should never give up, never quit, always keep heading forward, because it doesn’t matter what happens – you’re going to get where you’re supposed to be.  It might just be a change in direction, but you will get there.

And just understand that your family loves you; your friends, they will come back around.  They may have been just acquaintances, but your friends, your true friends you’ll find.

You will get those things that you want in life; it will just take time.  You might have to change direction to get on the proper road to get there, but just realize that it takes time.  Just stand with it, because you will get there, it will come back.  The body is made to come back.

How have you done in terms of maintaining friendships and how did friends help TBI recovery?

I would say I’ve done pretty well.  The friends I had before my injury, they weren’t really friends.  I still have a couple, but their lives have changed so much and mine has changed that we’re just not in contact anymore.

Most of your friends were in Texas?

No, all my friends were here.

What would you like to say to the people who are friends of someone with a brain injury, in terms of how to give that person more, to be a better friend, so that friends help TBI recovery?

Get back in their life and reassure them that you are a friend.  Your injured friend might be contacting you for help in some manner, such as, maybe just to come share community with them.  Take them to a movie, maybe you can go out to eat, but just share your interpersonal self with your injured friend.  Don’t, don’t step away and just, “Oh, he’ll get better.  He doesn’t need me.  He’s got his family.”  Because we all need somebody at some time.

Do you feel like some of your friends were almost uncomfortable, afraid to be with you because of what they heard about your injuries?


How do you make people feel less anxious about that and help friends help TBI recovery?

Reach out and understand.  Until you reach out and get involved, you will never understand.  They, they need to understand that their friend that has suffered the injury may be in a phase of denial.  There’s several phases, phases; there’s a denial, acceptance.  If they’re in denial, until they accept the injury and learn to achieve the things that they’ve been told they cannot achieve and accept that, that there may be some limitations, they will not get better.  But, that’s where the friend would come into play by saying: “You can do this.  Accept this and I will help you, I will help you accommodate the need that you have.”

Anything else you want to add?

I think that’s all.  I’m about talked out.

As Kelly needed her friends, and needed her friends help TBI recovery we hope that TBI Voices can also assist in rebuilding relationships after a brain injury, because we know that without that human connection, no recovery can be complete. If friends help TBI recovery, the path to recovery becomes a lot less cumbersome.

Attorney Gordon Johnson

For other Stories go to TBI Voices Table of Contents

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