Book Review – Surviving Head Trauma.

I sumbled across a fantastic book written by a true hero

Surviving Head Trauma. By Terry Smith

An Honest and Insightful account of a traumatic brain injury, the story is a must read for families, loved ones and ultimately, those who survive a traumatic accident. A gripping story of one extraordinary man who survived brain trauma, and recovered to tell the tale, his story demonstrates courage, resiliance and a determination to overcome a traumtic car accident where he tells his story openly, on his journey to survival, where he not only survived, but also thrived!

His dream was to one day become president, and a fine president this man would have made for his country!

Book Review
As an occupational therapist, I have had the privilege and pleasure of working in brain injury recovery. Recovering from a traumatic brain injury is a long, hard, laborious journey. The physical therapy can be gruelling and tough, and the psychological changes can, and often does, re-write someone’s personality, due to the damaged lobes in the brain.
I was working in an acquired brain injury rehabilitation centre, when I came across Terry Smiths book about surviving head trauma. Once I started to read the story, I was taken aback at how serious and severe, the trauma that Terry sustained. His head was crushed and it is, ‘a miracle’, that he is alive. He definitely has a very strong spirit within him. Many People who sustain a head trauma of this extent, rarely survive, let alone thrive after such a devastating trauma. What was ironic, was that I too had a patient, who had a similar head trauma, his recovery was phenomenal and I was so proud of him.
Terry was 18 years old when he had a collision with another truck, he had his whole life ahead of him, his dreams, aspirations, and career direction. In the blink of an eye, the kaleidoscope of life changed, alongside Terry’s plans for his future, which crashed with him. Many young people today, leave college with a clear idea of what they aspire to do with their life, Terry had very clear ideas of his direction and his future, until this one fateful day. No longer was he able to continue with training as a marine, his dreams of becoming the president were shattered, and he was now facing an uncertain and unstable future. This was his first major obstacle that he had to overcome. Grieving for the life he can no longer have.
Life can change in the blink of an eye, and coping after such a traumatic trauma, would take its toll on any strong person. However, the nature and extent of Terry’s accident merely highlights the extraordinary depths of his human resilience and inner strength which takes extraordinary courage to overcome.
Terry is that extraordinary person!
Terry’s story offers hope and comfort, to trauma survivors and their families, his frank and honest account of the trials and tribulations that are part of the rehabilitation journey will help people, to really comprehend the depths and level of trauma, that he has overcome.
When he openly discusses the nature of the relationship between therapist and client, my heart swelled when I read his account of how he developed warm feelings towards his therapist, a common theme I recognised. The relationship between client and therapist does impact on an emotional level and Terry admits this, so sweetly.
He shares his humour when describing some of the permanent effects of his brain injury, he offers the reader insight into his epilepsy and is brutally honest about personality changes. His honest and frank account is a must read, for families and loves ones, living with, or supporting someone with a brain injury.
Terry’s story demonstrates, courage, determination, strength, will power and tenacity, he eloquently describes his journey through the years of recovery. My favourite part was where he reflects during each new situation, comparing himself as he is now, to what he could have been, without his traumatic accident. I found this most touching.
Terry is truly an exceptional, extraordinary person, who has overcome some big challenges and conquered some tough terrain along his journey. Terry is the reason I love my job. Terry is no quitter, he faces each obstacle with grit and courage.
I hope his therapy team are overjoyed at his remarkable recovery. Watching your client grow from being unable to do almost anything, to walking talking and enjoying every minute of their life, for me, that is the greatest honour of working with brain trauma survivors – it’s priceless!

Brain and Trauma Here’s a easy to read pdf of the brain and spine to help you understand the amazing biology of our brains!

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