"My life is full of doctors, hospitals, and pain. I don't get to live a normal life."

I received this story from a young brain injury survivor, only 12 years old. Her words deeply touched my heart. We all could learn something from her resilience and determination... her perspective on life and her sweet heart, far beyond her years. She is an inspiration. -Cristabelle - "On November, 9th, 2015 my life was put in a life-altering situation. My hoodie was pulled & I snapped my neck in a friendly game of basketball with my at the time “friend”, I lost consciousness for an unknown time & was left to die on a concrete floor. That day changed my life forever. After my first injury, I suffered 2 subsequent brain injuries in a 60 day period. I was off school for 9 months because my brain was having severe concussion symptoms & I was not able to function. On June 14, 2016, I was paralyzed for 12+ hours. I was playing water-polo & my friend accidentally hit my neck. I was taken to a local hospital as a trauma patient, later to be transferred as a neurosurgical patient. I will always remember the photo of me smiling in a collar because I truly believed that was the end of my life. I thought that was the last photo ever to be taken of me. That day shaped me, for the past 9 months I have been in rehab. My drs are still trying to figure out my symptoms. We are trying everything we can to figure it out, not only do I have neurological issues: I am losing vision in my left eye. It’s really hard when you don’t know what’s wrong, I feel very stressed about because I need my spine, my brain and most importantly my eyes and I need my senses. And it DOESN'T help when your class doesn't support you, instead of lifting me up they lift me down. Many people don’t understand my life, they think it’s perfect. I don’t have a perfect life, My life is full of doctors, hospitals, and pain. I don’t get to live a normal life. I don’t get to have breaks, I can't hang out with my friends because I have other priorities. My priorities are being healthy. Kids my age don't get that & it's very difficult to explain to kids who don't get it or simply don't care. But I take my experience living with brain injury & I am making a campaign called ‘PutBrain1st’ to help support other people like me with brain injury. That is my life’s work supporting people who are like me. I am proud that I didn’t die and I am proud to be a brain injury advocate and survivor." -Monika, TBI Survivor 12 years old ➡️Share your story for#braininjuryawarenessmonth! Send a paragraph to info@hopeafterheadinjury.com💚 We are all in this together! #HopeAfterHeadInjury

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