Why We Exist
“Before my accident when I was 24, I had been living in Didsbury on my own in a basement suite. I had a boyfriend who lived in Edmonton. I was extremely happy. I was young, I figured I was invincible. I had a job supporting a girl who has Down’s Syndrome. Her name is Nicole and she was fun to work with. The day of our accident, we were delivering the Coffee News as always. As we were driving through the intersection we were T-boned by a truck. Luckily, Nicole didn’t get hurt, because she had been sleeping in the back seat, but I was the one who was very badly hurt. Because of this, my life TURNED upside down.
I was taken by STARS to the Foothills hospital where I was in intensive care for 3 weeks. To which I appreciate those people that saved my life. I was there during the next nine months, doing basic rehab to help me. And at this time, I wasn’t aware of my injury, so I wasn’t aware that I even needed rehab. I then moved to Ponoka for another 8 months. My Momma lived in an apartment there and Dad would come up on the weekends. I still believed that I could walk and I wasn’t aware that I had had a brain injury, which made rehab very difficult. But they eventually got me out of the wheelchair into a walker. This was a very hard time for my family and I. But they did have a ceramics class, and I loved to make a lot of pottery.
I was not only dealing with a brain injury but, some people in my life very obviously thought I was MUCH too hard to deal with! Even the guy who loved me, and my best friend disappeared, so I felt completely abandoned. But now, I’m taking it as a blessing in disguise from God, if they didn’t want to stick around, then it’s their loss.
I have a lot more limitations now and I am not able to be as independent as I had been before. I lost my driver’s license, as well as my ability to live on my own. Things that used to be easy for me are much more difficult. Like, now have double vision, my memory is quite faulty and my right hand has a tremor in it.
My therapies, such as speech, occupational, physical and music therapy will help me to be able to get back to the job I had working for an autobody supplier with my Dad. I’m lucky to have my family support and social activities, but it’s just a slow process. I do a lot of physical activity, aside from going to ARBI 3 days a week, I go to the gym frequently and I go for walks. I feel really good about it because, it wasn’t long ago I was in a wheelchair!
It’s nice to have such a wonderful support team at ARBI cheering me on from the sidelines, they’re very encouraging!
And for those who are struggling in any way, I say, keep trucking on! And take it one step at a time, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”
– Kristin Bradley