Story of Survival
WHERE FRIENDS GATHER GREAT THINGS HAPPEN
Welcome Brain Injury Survivors and Friends of Survivors
I am Victoria, a brain injury survivor turned advocate for mild brain injury. This is my story brought by family and friends. Through them, along with encouragement from mentors in brain rehabilitation, my personal commitment to raise awareness, educate, empower, and work together with survivors and community partners to learn and grow became a reality in 2019.
I experienced care gaps that delayed getting diagnosed properly and connected to the right care team after the car accident that caused my traumatic brain injury. I was 17 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident. Much of my brain injury symptoms were written off as pregnancy symptoms. It took some time; however, we both made it through. We are very blessed.
This online resource was created so that no one would have to go through the same care and information gaps that I experienced as a traumatic brain injury survivor.
In hindsight, I learned through research that if you have access to the right multidisciplinary care teams, receive good quality care and garner support from a strong support system early on, you raise your chances of a better outcome (particularly in cases where brain injury becomes chronic condition and leads to permanent disability, as in my case).
Treatment for brain injury can be a slow and iterative process. About midway through brain rehabilitation therapy, I was diagnosed with Stage I Breast Cancer. I could see that learning to adjust to life with brain injury helped me cope better with my cancer diagnosis. Cancer treatment gave me the strength to let go and try to live my best life despite my brain injury and functional limitations.
I promised myself that if I made it through cancer treatment successfully, I would do my best to help others challenged with mild brain injury close care and information gaps through personal advocacy to attain better outcomes. By sharing lessons learned, helpful information that may be hard to find online, and connect survivors in thoughtful ways, this web site is evolving to include a community of like-minded individuals like you who are passionate about raising awareness through sharing lived experience as a survivor of an acquired brain injury.
Many thanks to my two kids, my husband, family, and friends. I have met amazing people committed to brain injury who inspire hope through The Virginia Brain Injury Council, Brain Injury Association of America, Brain Rehabilitation Specialist Sylvia Whitmire, MA, LCMHC, BCB-Fellow, CCMC; Brain Injury Services; the team at VCU TBI Model Systems, and Brain Injury Association of Virginia.
Come join one of our support groups and events. Share your story. Make lasting friendships with your peers. Tell your family and friends about us. We'd love to have you.
Victoria Newman Ford, D.Div, RMT