Brain Injury Survival: Craig Part Two
While this interview will delve into more than just the story of brain injury survival, it will evolve from the foundation of our normal interview approach:
The Story of Craig’s Brain Injury Survival Caused by a Drunk Driver
You’re a victim of brain injury survival?
How did your brain injury survival story start?
I was hit by a drunk driver.
On the way to work, a guy – they say he was going close to 100 – but I tried to get (out of his way). I was living on the farm at that time. I was out in the field and he clipped my van and twirled, spun three times over, (the car was) crushed around my head. The last thing I remember is kicking the window out, getting my kids out and woke up about a month later.
You’re how old now?
When did this happen?
So you would have been what? 33?
And this is, October of 2012 and we’re doing this interview about your brain injury survival?
Were you conscious for some period of time after the accident?
Long enough to get my kids out and, I don’t really remember (after that).
Do you remember the beginning of the accident?
Oh yeah, I remember I saw it coming. It was like almost slow motion.
If I can get you to pause a minute and put yourself back in those moments, before you were a victim of brain injury survival, the accident and think about that and just try to tell us – almost as if it’s happening today – what happened.
I lived on a farm and pulled out of my driveway. I lived on 24 acres at that time, and had my daughter and my niece in the back. I was dropping them off at a friend’s. And so coming down I, and I could, they’re in the background. I hear, them, playing like kids do. They were 8 at that time. And, I go, Harriet, this guy’s, this guy’s falling asleep because I saw his head just go down and I saw it, so we went into the field and sure enough, he went into the field, with us. He swerved right into it. Just barely clipped me.
So you were turning left out of your driveway?
Yeah, I turned left and then, as he’s coming, we’re coming this way. It’s an old highway road, two lanes and I could’ve went the other way, but I would’ve hit a telephone pole.
So even though you swerved onto the shoulder, off the road itself, he continued, crossed over so far that he nailed you?
Correct. And he barely, hit, I stopped a head on though.
What time of day was it?
About 7:30 in the morning.
And he was drunk at that hour?
He’s drunk. He was coming back from somewhere. And I really don’t know what happened to him.
Now the moment after the collision you are actually still lucid, awake?
I remember, the last thing before he hit, the kids screaming. I remember that. I still hear those screams in my head. Yeah, I was, enough to get them out and I swear somebody helped me get them out, but evidently not.
Getting the kids out of the car is your last memory?
Yeah, and it was actually my first cognitive memory. I had what they call post-concussion amnesia for a good eight months and pretty severe. I actually went back to work with the amnesia believe it or not and they let me do it.
We’ll come back and talk specifically about the amnesia because it’s one of the issues with brain injury survival I highlight in every interview. But in terms of that day , the details of that day do you only remember the few seconds around the collision or do you have a clear memory of the day up to that point?
I have a pretty clear vision of what was going on to that point.
If we’re to take a period a minute after the wreck you would have no memory for as much as eight months?
Correct. Well, bits, sporadically, because it didn’t make any sense what I remembered.