Tell Us Your Story
On September 13, 1973 I was probably not sleeping like right now and that would lead to my waking up late. I missed my friends walking to school that morning and I went alone. Mom, who didn't drive, was yelling as I ran down the street to get to school, "Don't take the shortcut!" Me yelling back, "I won't!" Knowing I was lying to her. On that fateful day I was beaten beyond recognition by an 18 year old as I attempted to take the last shortcut life would ever afford me and my family. I remember a lot of what happened that morning, running late to one day in my first week of 4th grade I was excited, I loved school but hated waking up ( a common theme in my life) and there are many pieces of me that got lost on that well beaten path. Parts of myself and relationships with friends and family that were altered forever because of one act of violence so monstrous that people still say to me today, "I'll never forget what I was doing or where I was when I heard you were hurt." I don't look back feeling pity, I never wanted pity, recognition, or praise for fighting to get "me" back. It took a village, the Town of Lewes, a safe harbor of citizens who cared about each other, a family, and a little girl to get me to where I am today. I was impacted by the greatness and beauty of love, laughter, and giving.
I am the lucky one; I lived in a time of people rising to a challenge of overcoming fear for hope, hate for love, and tears for joy. From neighbors helping neighbors and coming together for a common cause, a child and a family. My life has been filled with struggle that built a great resilience, something that I am grateful for. Challenge has been something to overcome, not a roadblock and I am happy that my life has been one of Purpose, Understanding, and Empathy.
I think things happen for a reason and I believe I am fulfilling the purpose of the reason that I have had to live with a traumatic brain injury and seizures. I don't know who I would have become without them anymore. To be honest I don't know what I'd be if I didn't have to take pills to stop seizures all my life. I just know who I am now and I'm okay with me. So here's to 46 years of overcoming great odds, living, learning, loving, dreaming, and succeeding, against all the odds. Here's to Life!
Have an Amazing Day and remember to go out there today September 13th and be good to as many people as you can. Go help someone who may need it or visit someone who could be lonely, or donate to a cause you love. It takes all of us to be at our best when there is someone who needs us.
Imagine being an active 20-year-old and having your life change suddenly. On June 17, 2017 this is what happened to Tyler Trego from Harrington, Delaware. As Tyler tells the story, “My friend was driving and unfortunately fell asleep behind the wheel, which caused him to veer off the road. I ended up breaking my back in three places as a result of the accident, which left me with a T5 spinal cord injury. I also had a traumatic brain injury (TBI).” Tyler’s mother, Cristi, added that in addition to the injuries above, Tyler also “had a severely broken sternum, collapsed lungs, bleeding on the brain and a broken bone in his neck. All of the ribs on his right side were broken along with some fractures on the left, as well.” Tyler’s parents searched for the best rehabilitation facility for Tyler and decided on Magee in Philadelphia. He stayed there from July to September of 2017.
Quickly the Trego family was faced with rising medical expenses, travel costs, time off of work, and other needs. In order for Tyler to return home, the family had to move into a new home and make sure Tyler could properly function in his new “normal” throughout the house. Not to mention, Tyler’s parents had to start to learn all of the support resources in the State of Delaware. This family’s life changed in the blink of an eye and they were left looking for answers and solutions on how to help their son. His parents were willing to do whatever it took to get Tyler what he needed; however, maneuvering the system still continues to be a challenge and they learn more and more each day.
Tyler continues to have a great outlook. He stated that “I initially focused on everything I couldn’t do. After working with PT, OT, and speech therapy, I was able to see how much I actually could do, just in a different way than I was used to. I tried to stay positive throughout my recovery and remind myself to focus on what I could do versus what I couldn’t.” The support and love he felt from family, friends, and the community were instrumental in recovery as well.
Tyler still has his struggles, but with a supporting family, is working through them. Tyler and his family continue to seek out activities and support groups for young men and women that are suffering with a TBI and paralysis; however, Cristi has informed the Brain Injury Association of Delaware that this is a difficult task in Kent County. Tyler is currently looking forward to driving again, but knows it will come with its own challenges.