Submitted by: Myroslav Tovarnytskyy
Email: [email protected]
A 21-year-old St. James man was seriously injured in a three-car crash in Melville Thursday evening after police said he apparently lost control of his car on Old Country Road.
Myroslav Tovarnytskyy was transported to Nassau University Medical Center with head injuries after the crash, Suffolk County police said. He was admitted in serious condition.
Police said two others, a husband and wife traveling in one of the two other cars involved in the crash, also were taken to NUMC with “non-life-threatening injuries.” Two other people, both from the third car in the crash, were unhurt, police said.
Tovarnytskyy was driving a 2008 Ford Mustang eastbound on Old Country Road when he apparently lost control of the car at 5:30 p.m., spinning into oncoming traffic, police said. His car collided with a 2009 Toyota Camry driven by Florence Kovensky, 73, of Verona Drive, Melville. A third car, a 2009 Honda Civic driven by Edison Limones, 24, of North Carolina, also was struck.
Submitted by: Brian Reid
Email: [email protected]
On May 29th, 2010, I was celebrating the upcoming wedding of my childhood friend. We were at his house that night, groom and groomsmen, having a bonfire. We used a pickup truck to retrieve wood from a cleared forest nearby. On one of those trips, I sat on the lowered tailgate of the truck and was thrown from it as the driver turned a corner on the gravel road. I have no memory of the moment, of course, but eyewitness accounts and the pattern of injuries sustained suggest that I landed on my rear-end, bounced, then flattened out, my head smacking the ground at nearly 30mph. I lay unconscious for roughly 5 minutes, then came to. My friends say that I began babbling incoherently, my eyes bloodshot, my nose and ears bleeding. I was rushed to the nearest hospital, where tests confirmed that I had suffered TBI, registering an 8 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. Fortunately, I had only a hair-line fracture in my skull, just above my right ear. Unfortunately, the coup/contre-coup nature of my injury severed my nasal nerve cluster, effectively terminating my sense of smell. Of course, I did not realize that for some time, as I was placed in a medically induced coma and admitted to a Traumatic Intensive Care Unit for observation. I was out for nearly a month. After the doctors determined that the swelling of my brain had subsided, they began the protocol of lowering my sedatives to try and see if I would regain consciousness. As is common in these cases, I exhibited the fight-or-flight response during those trials, thrashing about, removing my medical devices (pic-line, IV, intubator, etc.) Eventually I was restrained for all subsequent tests and given a tracheotomy. However, I did wake up. My first memory was of a nurse approaching me with wire-cutters to cut the staples that held my breathing apparatus in place at the base of my throat. I was a bit startled by that, but did not fight, for once. Shortly thereafter I was moved to a Rehabilitation Center, where I spent another two weeks in physical and mental therapy. During my hospital stay, I had lost almost 50 lbs., contracted pneumonia and staphylococcus, and racked up over $160,000 in medical bills (at the time I was 27, unemployed, and uninsured). My weeks in rehab produced mixed results, as I was ecstatic to be alive, yet very much devastated by the realization that my life had permanently changed. I still exhibited the fight or flight response, resulting in the confiscation of my cell phone, as well as basically being locked in my room to prevent my escape (they actually hung a sign on my door that read “Elopement Risk”). Of course, my family and friends were relieved to learn that I could still walk, talk, write, and so on. I, however, became increasingly frustrated with my situation, my doctors, everything. What I had been told frightened me: I could have seizures, I had lost most of my Executive Function (all of my brain damage is located in my frontal lobes), I would likely suffer from PTSD (I did, and still do). More therapy revealed the full extent of the damage, but I reasoned, incorrectly, that if I still had the ability to understand my injury, then I could certainly manage a healthy and full recovery without the poking and prodding of the medical community and my family. In the two years that followed, I retreated into a dangerous cocoon of depression, agoraphobia, timidity, and low self-esteem. I refused any further treatment, filed for medical bankruptcy, and withdrew from the world around me. However, as time went on, and I grew into the new version of myself, I began to realize that I had been given a great opportunity to live life the way I wanted to. That I no longer had to be a slave to my injury, nor a perpetual victim of circumstance. So, with a great deal of hesitation, but equal part determination, I stepped back out into the world. I got a job at a gas station near where I live. That turned out to be quite possibly the best treatment for me. I got to meet new people, perform basic physical and mental tasks, and began to feel a sense of self-worth that had all but disappeared from my psyche. After a year, my confidence restored (at least partially), I left that job and got another one, painting cars, which is what I had been doing for a few years before my injury. In the beginning, I was told that a full recovery could take up to five years, if at all. Well, it’s almost been that long, and I’m happy to say that I’ve never felt better about who I am and what I’m doing in life. Sure, there’s always room for improvement on those fronts, but I am no longer defined solely by my injury. Most people don’t even know until I tell them. I should say that it’s taken some getting used to: I still have a bit of an emotional short-circuit (PTSD), I talk too much and sometimes don’t make any sense in words or actions (Executive Function), but all in all, I am okay. And that is the best anyone can hope for, brain damage or not. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that I had, and still have, a very strong network of emotional and financial support of family and friends. And that I was extremely lucky to have such a hard head (literally and metaphorically). And to anyone reading this, which of course I thank you for doing so, I want to tell you that if I can make it through this, so can you. When you’re feeling low, reach out to loved ones. When you’re afraid to face the day, find something you love that will get you on your feet. Know that you have something to offer the world, and that you can, and will, live a happy and complete life. Thank you.
Submitted by: William Cummings
Email: william.[email protected]
I’m a 13 year Survivor – Thrivor, after my car crash!
Yes I lost much, yet ‘My Disabilities Unveiled My Abilities’! I now Speak In Public and formed the Person Abilities Network charity.