Posted on February 28, 2013 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 14 of 36 in the series Zachary

Return to High School After Severe TBI: Zach Part Fourteen

Zach did return to high school after severe TBI.  We talked about the difficulties he had with this and what work he had to make up.


In September you return to high school after severe TBI?


Did they do anything about trying to finish your junior year in your return to high school after severe TBI?

I had to finish my junior year over the summer, so already when I came back from rehab was I was doing schoolwork, math problems, algorithms.  I hate math.  But, yeah, it was tough because I was still doing outpatient rehab.  We went to Burbank Hospital.

Let’s talk about that catching up, that summer of schoolwork. Give me some information, some detail about the summer school upon your return to high school after severe TBI?

It was tough.

You were taking five or six classes to finish?

Some of my teachers were like, “He’s been through enough, he’s doing good, so we’ll pass him.” But then some other ones were like you got to finish doing one thing.

Math was one of those?

Math was one of those.

Was it a pre-calc class, or advanced algebra?

I think it was pre-calc.  But, then my friend’s brother who was a family friend, he’s a teacher at the high school, Chuck Rooney, came over and he’d tutor me all summer, all summer long.  Helped me, helped me do everything.  It was tough, but…

So you managed to get, how many classes did you have to finish with your return to high school after severe TBI? 

I think three.

When does school start, September 1?

Yeah, I think so.

To view:

When you were tutoring in the summer, you had a relatively quiet environment to work in. Is your house normally as quiet as it is right now?

Well, my parents are usually sitting on that couch.

But you’re working at home.


September you walk into the school and I’m sure there’s that celebration and you’re back.  But what about going back to class being part of the social environment?

Well, I mean, the coolest thing was everyone knew who I was now.  That, that I was the kid that, that got in the car accident, ah sweet.  Yeah, I’m that guy.  But, I just really, I enjoyed it.  I loved going down the hallways and I hear what’s up, what’s up, man, what’s up, what’s up.   It was cool and everybody’s like “Oh dude, how was your summer, how was rehab,” like everyone really cared – for the first month.   And then after it was like “ahh he’s just kind of messed up”.

Let’s start our focus on class.  What’s different about now learning in class versus learning with a tutor at home?

Well having a tutor actually really helped me because you get that one on one.  Oh you don’t know how do this?  Okay well let me show this is how you do it, you know.  In a class, you’re trying to always pay attention but then you got like my friend who is like just like causing a raucous for no reason, And this its like: “Dude.  I got to try to concentrate.”  There so many factors that, that play into.

Did you take a full load that, that semester?

I did not.   I took half days so I could leave and go to rehab and then I’d come back to football practice.

Next in Part Fifteen –

Athletics Is Measuring Bar for Changes Post TBI

About the Author

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