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March 31 , 2008

Surviving Head Trauma

A Guide to Recovery Written by a Traumatic Brain Injury Patient


Sometimes life doesn’t always unfold the way you plan. On July 20, 1984 while at USMC Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, a young Marine was a passenger in a three-ton troop transport vehicle that, while traveling at sixty-five miles per hour, flipped and rolled several times, finally coming to rest upside down. Several Marines were dead, but one man was still alive. He was Terry Smith.

After dying twice during brain surgery on that fateful day, Terry Smith has since learned to adjust to the limitations that accompany Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). At Bethesda Naval Hospital, Terry learned to walk, talk, eat, think, and live again, but learning to cope with seizures, anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, and memory loss did not happen overnight—or even after two decades. It is only through years of trial and error that Terry has learned to make the transition from pre-TBI to post-TBI, proving that the healing process is never-ending for head trauma patients.

Terry Smith is a true survivor who has defied the odds. Today he shares his inspirational story of hope for the future for TBI patients, their families, doctors, and anyone who has insurmountable obstacles to overcome.

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