Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

Musings by Donna #49 Traumatic Brain Injury – A Speed Bump in Life

Eight years ago this evening I received a phone call. It’s the kind we all dread. My brother, Jack, and his wife, Carol, were on the other end. It was hard for Jack to get the words out, but when he did they took my breath away, too. His twenty-four-year-old son, John, my nephew, was in the hospital fighting for his life. John was john 111212known for his happy-go-lucky – light-hearted self. He could easily make you smile. He was an imp – a loveable imp. What was he doing in the hospital? That was much too serious a place for him!

John was supposed to be at a party that evening with friends – a holiday party, I guess, given the season. For John a party was around every corner. He always sought out the fun in life. It was odd that he opted out of that party. He said he wasn’t feeling well. His friends went.

Fortunately one concerned friend returned to check on John. She found him in distress. Soon his parents, Jack and Carol, arrived and John was quickly transported to the hospital. He had suffered a (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injury. No one knows why. We’d never heard of TBI, but we’d soon become experts.

For several weeks John teetered on the edge. His doctors gave him a small percentage to live. But he did live and he still lives with a gusto for life. His life is drastically changed. It’s not the life he wanted nor what anyone had expected he’d have, but is it his life and he continues to live it to the fullest. He calls it “A little speed bump in life.” That’s one heck of a speed bump. And one heck of a good attitude! We are all very proud of John and so glad he fought to stay with us.

Hugs and ♥♥♥♥♥.

Love, Aunt Donna

(Photo compliments of ME.)


December 28, 2012 - Posted by | Musings by Donna, Traumatic Brain Injury - TBI | , , , ,


  1. I have had three brain surgeries. My TN and Lupus keep my spirits down sometimes because of the constant pain- People like your nephew John remind me it is ” a bump in the road”. If I have not slept all night because of pain- I get up in the morning-take my meds and get out of the house. It is that or stay under the covers and feel sorry for my self. We make choices. John is strong enough to make hard decisions. He gives me confidence that I can go on- “laughing all the way”. Give him my love and thanks for keeping going over that bump, and giving me a hand in getting over my bumps. He is an inspiration for me. Yes, I can keep going like John. I would not wish it on anyone else but it is my problem and I will carry it. Thank you for an inspirational story- of great help to me. Love to you all.

    Comment by Colleen Gallagher | January 3, 2013 | Reply

    • From John (Aunt Donna’s nephew)
      Always smile and think of all the good things you have! Things could always be worse! Yes this incident made me “lose” my job (manager at a bank), my house, my motorcycle, and my car. (life chage!) BUT I am rebuilding!!!! I have a car, went back to school for my AA, and created my own job making signs!! Now I am a business owner!!

      Love to all and remember “it could always be worse” so smile

      PS I am a believer in short and long term disability on your insurance if you can. Lucky I had the both thanks to an awesome boss “Joanna”

      My website will be back up soon and better than before!

      Comment by John (Aunt Donna's nephew) | January 4, 2013 | Reply

      • John,

        I am so proud of your positive outlook on life. That has never changed. You are an amazing young man. Keep up your good work.
        Smiling at you.

        Aunt Donna

        Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | January 4, 2013

    • Colleen, you have managed to overcome an amazing feat. 3 brain surgeries! I am sure it is your positive manner that keeps you going with a smile on your face. I got to see that sweet smile when we had the opportunity to visit a few years ago. I hope you saw John’s reply to your comment. He says, “It could always be worse.” I’ll add, I hope it gets better.

      Hugs, Donna

      Comment by donnaodonnellfigurski | January 4, 2013 | Reply

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