Tracy: Dramatic brain injuries have gotten a lot of attention. Truth is, they occur once every 16 seconds in America and March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month and Don (unintelligible) 0:19 now with an encouraging story here in North Texas. Don?
Don Wall: Hi Tracy. May 21, 2011, that’s the day Michael Black’s life changed forever. He was nearly killed when his car rolled over eight times and he was thrown out. Doctors gave him no chance to survive, never mind recover, somehow he did survive and now he’s helping others cope with traumatic brain injuries.
Thomas Jensen: Nice, what is this? Nice job!
Don Wall: For the first time in two years, Michael Black, known as The Bean, takes a few steps backwards which is a huge step forward.
Thomas Jensen: Nice!
Don Wall: Two years ago in Florida Michael was thrown from his car, landed on his head and suffered a traumatic brain injury. His parents were told he wouldn’t make it through the night. He was in a coma for six weeks but through daily therapy and a tremendous attitude he continues to make good progress.
Thomas Jensen: He was told things like you’re going to be a vegetable the rest of your life and he has blown any and all statements like that out of the water.
Don: Eventually he was able to go back to the trauma center where he was first treated.
Bernadette Coleman: Really, they gave us no hope at the time so to see him walk in and see him where he is today, he truly is a miracle but there’s been a lot of angels and help along the way to get him here.
Don Wall: How do you keep smiling through something like this?
Michael Black: I – I don’t know. I really don’t know but it’s just I got an attitude that I’m going to get better. Things are going to get better. I’ve already been through the worst, worst (hump) that you can go through.
Don Wall: Michael has been treated extensively here in North Texas even getting oxygen therapy at the Hyperbaric Centers of Texas. And while he struggles with his motor skills, The Beans mind is just as good as ever and so he decided, with his mother’s help, to build a Web site for other people suffering traumatic brain injuries. It’s called TryMunity. It’s like Facebook and more than a thousand people have signed up to chat.
Michael Black: That’s why they have like their friends or something will sign up and find comfort talking to people that have been through the same thing that are still living and survived.
Don Wall: Everyday Michael undergoes more grueling physical therapy and everyday he talks with others who are trying to recover from their traumatic brain injuries. He offers comfort and advice.
Michael Black: Just don’t quit, keep going!
Don Wall: And this month Michael and his mother will testify in Austin in front of the Texas Senate Committee. They hope to bring awareness and changes and assurance laws to cover traumatic brain injuries. You know, the long-term needs of these people is incredible and this includes the veterans of course and Michael had insurance but it will only cover about 30 days of therapy, and of course, he’s in his second year and it’s going on and on and on.
His Web site is TryMunity.com. That’s T-R-Y-M-U-N-I-T-Y.com.
Man: That’s an emotional story isn’t it? I mean, I loved what he said. Okay, he’s got problems, he said, I’m getting better and I’ve been through the worst of it.
Woman: You know there’s always something when physicians will say, you know, go home, get your affairs in order, it’s going to be over. How can somebody make a prediction like that because there are so many people that have lived long lives in spite of it and this young boy, or this young man, who’s now found a purpose in it and to help others which fuels him to keep going and maybe hopefully will fuel us all to help support this so that we can do something to help people with these long-term injuries.
Don Wall: As his mother says, TryMunity is now his job so he does his therapy and then he goes in the computer and he talks with people around the country who are also experiencing similar…
Man: Kudos to the mom as well. Obviously he wouldn’t be doing as well as he is without the kind of love and support that he gets at home.
Don Wall: Absolutely. So…
Woman: That’s a nice story!
Man: It really is, thanks Don.
Woman: Thank you Don.
Don Wall: You’re welcome.
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