Client Stories


DECEMBER 6th 2009

A day is made up of countless moments. Some that are exciting, some that are usual, emotional or even meaningful, but it only takes a single moment to dramatically change your life. That moment for me, took place on a cold and icy night. At 1:58 I misread in making the dark turn before my end destination point, Trinity Western University. This resulted in an almost fatal collision into Trinity Western’s main water source, the school’s near by pump house. I was then found unconscious, in a vegetative state. From that point forward I fought for any kind of life for myself. This fight lasted a painful not one but two months, with my loved ones by my side everyday. I had my eyes open but there was no life behind them. I was initially a level three out of a possible ten on the Glasgow Coma Scale, the Glasgow Coma Scale or GCS is a neurological scale that aims to give a reliable, objective way of recording the conscious state of a person for initial as well as subsequent assessment, as close to “dead,” as I could reach. Since that day it’s been an extreme battle with it’s periods of highs and extreme lows. I’ve endured but in time have overcome. Reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. I have learned how your attitude towards recovery control your true outcome. When I began using a positive mindset I saw that I then truly progressed. I believe it is very important to have both inspiration and motivation. Teens are often guarded, like I was myself, although if they have a true form of inspiration that they can RELATE to, they can then BELIEVE in their own recovery possibilities. I wished I could have had the opportunity and advantage in talking to someone who had previously and recently walked my shoes and I would like a chance to council future patients at G.F Strong. If G.F Strong is not the avenue, I will have to make this dream a reality in some other direction. Mentoring and giving advice was always my strong point, before my injury I had planned on going to school to be a psychologist and work through my future patients issues. I dreamed of answering their questions and offering advice and helpful strategies to work through their difficulties. I feel that now I would have the ability to offer that same support only better because I would have the experience and I too walked the road of recovery and had the exact same challenges. When your faced with something you know you were meant to do, something your passionate about, it makes it easy in deciding where your time should be spent. I know now how important and crucial inspiration and motivation is in recovery. I feel I could offer that and make a huge difference. To be an outlet for true recovery. This is only the beginning. One of my absolute favourite quotes states, “You can’t climb to the top, if you don’t start from the bottom.” Right now, I’m at the bottom, but with hard work in getting my story out there and known, I can then start making the difference I was meant to make.

A Path to the Unknown

“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”― Edgar Allan Poe

ICUBlessing in disguise. What comes to your mind when you hear this expression? Cambridge Dictionary defines this idiom as “Something that seems bad or unlucky at first, but results in something good happening later.” However, it feels that there is much more to it than this simple definition suggests. Sometimes, it appears as if some karmic force or divine interference that guides people through unimaginable adversities to the incredible heights, to the top of the world they wouldn’t have reached otherwise, making them the shining examples of perseverance and courage. The following story tells about an experience of a young man who endured a tremendous loss, but managed to embrace his circumstances and make his life a great inspiration to others.

On January 27, 2006, Brandon was sure than at that stage of his life he was on the right track. He was close to completing a demanding four-year carpentry apprenticeship program while planning other things that a typical 23-year-old would do. An ice-cold January night changed Brandon’s life forever: when driving home with his girlfriend, he lost control of his car. Given the severity of the accident, Brandon was rushed to to the hospital (Intensive Care Unit) with a life-threatening injuries; tragically, his girlfriend didn’t survive the crash.

In ICU, Brandon remained in brandoncoma for 4 days followed by the 5-day induced coma to heal the profound body and brain trauma. When, finally, he was brought back to consciousness, he was given no hope of recovery, and even when the doctors began to see progress, they still insisted that his life would be very restricted – no hope of working or going to school again. Brandon had months and years of strenuous physical and cognitive rehabilitation ahead of him. With hard work of the medical staff and support from his family and friends, after a month of treatment, Brandon was moved to GF Strong Rehabilitation hospital to spend another month of occupational, physio, and psychological therapy. Throughout this painful recovery, physical limitations and partial memory loss, Brandon had never lost his optimism and motivation to pursue a full recovery.Upon leaving the hospital in April 2006, Brandon was referred to JR Rehab where his further rehabilitation was planned and implemented by Ricardo Nuno (OT) and Kevin Loades (Kin).


For almost two years, Brandon continued with JR his adaptive and restoratives occupational therapy and kinesiology treatments rebuilding his normal physical and cognitive functions and making progress beyond expected. Not only has been Brandon able to overcome the debilitating physical and mental effects of that fatal 2006 crash, but his perseverance and hard work led him to accomplishments that nine years ago seemed to be totally unattainable – this May he is graduating from UBC with the Degree in Kinesiology; he is happily married and ready to embark on a new career he is so passionate about. Brandon strongly believes that even in the face of hardship and adversities life offers us endless possibilities.

Interview with Brandon C., 2015 (First picture shows Brandon in ICU with his mother by his side. Second picture shows Brandon with his wife)
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