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.

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Myroslav Tovarnytskyy

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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.

Brian Reid

 

This page is dedicated to your testimonies that you submit at http://www.tbitalk.com/share-story/

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"I had a concussion and symptoms' were the same and even worse! I couldn't see any light. Now over two years later with lots of therapy and work slowly recovering."

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My 38 year old son had a work comp injury August of 2015. A big pipe hit him in the head. The side of his head swelled up really bad. They didn't send him to a doctor until a month later when I told him to get to the emergency room that he had a concussionbut he ended up throwing up, getting headaches, then two months later he had aseizure and he couldn't remember what happened for 10 minutes. Now they had anEEG done with all the wires on his head. There's abnormal T on the left side of the brain, he's lost his memory off and on, and has anger issues now. Because he seen a psychiatrist and neurologist and they have him on all this medication because he's in depression and diagnosed him with a "neurological disorder" they called it. My son is changed. I don't know what happened to him. Can someone here give me any light that this concussion can do this to your brain like this? I think it's the medication because of anger issues but he also has severe headaches all the time. He's on medication for that. He couldn't sleep at night so now they have him on Ambien to sleep, Klonopin, and some other brain medicine for serotonin balance. I just don't know who my son is anymore. They've diagnosed him with post-concussion syndrome. We do have an attorney but I'm wondering will he ever get his memory back? They have him going for cognitive therapy and psychotherapy counseling. I just can't believe a concussion can cause a brain injury like this and he's only 38 years old. Please if anybody's had anything like this is there hope? Is there light at the tunnel? Will we be able to be normal again?

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I'm 47. Suffered a TBI 18 months ago. I haven't had any help from any organization. In my opinion, it's been thrown under the carpet and I've been left in a black hole to get on with it by myself.

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Hello everyone, I suffered a TBI about 5 years ago, doctors gave me a 5% chance of survival. I find a few complications now but am mostly recovered. After reading through the comments I think I'm doing better than most people who have one, thanks to all the help from the people at Clearview brain injury center and the doctors from UW Wisconsin in Madison. All I can say to anyone out there with a TBI is hang in there, there is help and support groups to assist you.

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My daughter sustained a TBI in a car accident almost a year ago. Please look up Functional chiropractic. Otherwise known as a  neurological chiropractor. I found 32 in the state of Iowa, thank God! Also youtube Dr Ted Carrick, at Carrick institute. You will find hope I'm the midst of your darkest days. Best wishes!

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I have had approximately 6 TBI's where I was unconscious for more than 5 minutes. The last one I was paralyzed, in and out of consciousness for 3-4 hours or so. Back in 2000 I showed symptoms mocking schizophrenia. I was under a lot of stress, I was taken off birth control cold turkey which will show psychotic type symptoms, and my spouse was going out with friends from college ( all females). The next thing I know SSA sent me an appt. to be evaluated. I showed all symptoms of head injury. I was crying and laughing at the same time uncontrollably, started accusing and blaming everything on my spouse, became insecure and went through a personality change again. My spouse has never tried to sit me down and talk to me because he doesn't believe I've had that many brain injuries. He is satisfied with the diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia without any tests with medical equipment. Well, they are just now wanting to send me to a neurologist for testing. I was finally told that having olfactory hallucinations alone I have brain damage. Go easy on yourself and remember, you bot alone when you say you can't control your emotions and there is help it there but, I know it's hard to find. I have finally broke and am going to try seeing a psychologist to talk about every thing I have experienced. From delusions and hallucinations to emotional loss. Hang in there. You will eventually Find something that works for you. It does help to talk to someone that is a licensed professional on head trauma. Good luck. If you have a hard time with uncontrollable crying do this - when you feel like crying is about to happen move your bottom teeth and protrude them beyond your upper teeth and hold it there, It sounds impossible but it works!!! I find myself in public doing this often.

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I have only had like 3 or four documented concussions, only one severe enough to cause temporary amnesia, but 3 months ago I wrecked my motorcycle and took a fall straight to the helmet at around 95 or 100 mph. Because i was riding without insurance I didn't go to the hospital, (because I knew they would call the cops) life has been hell ever since. I can't remember any thing, I get angry over nothing, I cry uncontrollably and worse than any thing I can't remember anything. My memory loss is seriously jeopardizing my career, I lost the keys to the front door of where i work and even didn't show up to work  thinking it was my day off and it wasn't. I finally went to a doctor who referred me to a neurologist. I am so scared rite now, my life is centered around extreme sports and fitness. What if the neurologist can't figure out what is wrong with me, then what, am i just screwed now? Do you think these doctors can even help? Please leave a comment because I just want to hide and never come out.

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Where was all this information was back in 1976 when I enter in a state of coma for about two weeks?, I guess there was none in that year. I am glad TBI and PTSD patients have been researched more.
I'll be 45 years old tomorrow 27th, and on September 18th it'll be 40 years of my head trauma car accident, I was five years old then, what came after that incident was completely unexpected and difficult still in today's days, I guess as an adult now, with less suffering and more acceptance, but the pain remains. On day at a time I guess...
Thanks for posting this sort of information.

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I survived from TBI in 1994. With less than a percent chance of survival, recovering and re-entry into society is a miracle indeed.

You can google-search for 'Takalah Tan' to read articles and see documentary clips on my pre & post TBI episodes. Society need be inclusive of and help enable all Post-Acquired Brain Injury Survivors and their respective carers!

PABIS Takalah Tan

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