Posted on March 22, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 3 of 32 in the series Quinn

Sense of Humor Survived Severe Brain Injury: Quinn Part Three


Quinn’s sense of humor survived severe brain injury and had me giggling throughout my interview with him. It started with his demanding his dollar because of the language in the release reciting that he had received “one dollar and other valuable consideration” for participating in the interview. A great example his sense of humor survived severe brain injury.

Sense of Humor Survived Severe Brain Injury

“And then I read your thing and it says a dollar.”

Oh, well, you know, I always forget about the dollar.  So I don’t forget, let me give you the dollar.

“Is it American currency?


“My makeup okay?”

Now as I write this, I realize that I too contributed to the comic relief, the sense of humor survived severe brain injury, of telling such a tragic story.

What were the specific injuries to your brain?

I had a bunch of fractures.  I was deaf in this ear for a while.  I don’t know, I don’t remember how long.  Now I’ve got 90 percent of the hearing back.  I’ve got ringing in this ear.  Just constant, it’s just there.  It’s annoying but it’s nothing I can really do about it unless they, I guess, cut the cord in here.

I lost all sense of smell.  I cannot smell a thing.  So the wife doesn’t shower but once a month, now.   We save the money on the water bill. (Another example that Quinn’s sense of humor survived severe brain injury)

As far as brain damages, you’ll have to ask her.  I don’t understand and I don’t know what.  My brain just bounced, bounced around and when I got out of the hospital, I sat down and asked her what happened.  She went over the list of issues and after like the seventh of eighth, I just said enough, enough.

Then I asked, with complete sincerity at the time:

Your heart had stopped.  You were essentially almost dead.  They were able to get your heart beating again?

He didn’t answer yes, but I think his nodding of his head was sufficient indication that his heart had indeed been restarted. There is a famous list of stupid questions lawyers have asked in depositions. This one probably belongs on that list, but my only defense to my own chuckles, was that it was said to transition to the next question.

After your heart started to beat, you were actually conscious again, confused and agitated.  Is that right?

Yeah, in and out of consciousness.  They knew they were going to cut everything off of me and my skates are real expensive.  So the people who were surrounding me said let’s try and save his ice skates.  So, they tried to get them off of my feet and I came to and I guess I started flailing and, you know, “get off me, let go of me” and then I passed out again, I guess and they got the skates off.

So, when I got home from the hospital, all of my equipment is cut off, is shredded, you know, underwear, socks, everything and it’s like the skates are in perfect shape.  I didn’t understand why or how and then they’ve, they’ve all come to the house and explained what had happened.

Were you in a coma when you got the hospital?

No, I was in and out of consciousness.  When my wife finally got word that I was taken to the hospital, my friend said to my wife that, he’s been in an accident and she thought he was joking, that I was playing around, because  I was late for dinner and, with her and her dad and he went, you know, no.  This is no joke.

I’m sorry and she’s in medicine.  So, she asked was he flown or was he driven to the hospital and my friends lied to her, knowing that I’d got flown, knowing had bad it was.  He didn’t want her to get into an accident driving 200 mile an hour to the hospital.

So, he said I think he was just driven.  So, she drives to the hospital thinking I twisted my leg or broke a leg or something and they won’t let her see me.  And no one will tell her anything and I guess she was obviously frustrated and they finally come out and said, listen.  We’ve got eight people holding him down.  He’s a big dude, and, you know, we’re trying to figure out what’s wrong.  He’s had a traumatic brain injury and he’s in and out of consciousness and we’re trying to get brain scans or CT scans or whatever and all men on deck, all women on deck were holding me down, trying to get needles in me, get me tied up.  I was breaking through whatever they tied me up with.

Did they knock you out to put you in the CT scan?

They did.  I guess they did knock me out but I don’t think there was a coma.  You’ll have to ask her what exactly, how they knocked me out or whatever.

Quinn’s Wife Talks About How His Sense of Humor Survived Severe Brain Injury

Your husband had a wry, a good sense of humor, before he got hurt and his sense of humor survived severe brain injury?

Yeah.  Yeah.

Describe his sense of humor survived severe brain injury.

It’s a different sense of humor than me or my family have.  I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to him.  We’re, we’re very different.  He has a very different sense of humor.  He’s very, has been, throughout his life, very laid back and very easygoing person, and I’ve always been the stressed out, high strung, Type A perfectionist-type personality.  So, I think that’s what drew us together; and his sense of humor was definitely part of him and who he was.


Miraculously Quinn’s sense of humor survived severe brain injury which is not always the case of survivors of TBI


Despite severe traumatic brain injury, many recognizable personality traits will often survive, like his sense of humor survived severe brain injury, almost intact.  The funny Quinn survives.

Next in Part Four – Retrograde Amnesia for Day of TBI

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