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Me and my TBI

December 21, 2021

My name is Leighton Ashford. I’m a 49 year old Insurance Adjuster. At least I used to be, for the past 16 years. I’ve had 3 documented TBI’s and I think 2 more undiagnosed. The 1st in 1999 while riding a horse. The 2nd in 2019 in a car accident. The 3rd on July 24th 2020. I was working doing property damage inspections. I climbed down off the roof of a house and was headed to another address. I was stopped at a Road Construction area on the interstate. An approaching 18 wheeler, going highway speed, never saw the stopped vehicles and rear-ended me. The impact broke the seat and seat belt and threw me through the rear window into the “crushed” back of my truck. I suffered a broken elbow, both clavicles, both scapula’s, and neck. I also had knocked out teeth and 30 staples to the back of my head. From this accident, I had a TBI and SCI. The accident left me unable to walk, talk legibly, and have minimal motion in my upper body. I was in a rehab Hospital for 3 months, at an in-house rehab facility for 6 weeks followed by outpatient rehab that I’m currently still doing for the past 10 months. I’ve made a lot of progress with trying to walk and can now go short distances with the use of a walker. I still only have about 50% mobility in my upper body and limited motor skills. My speech is getting a little better with practice and therapy. It has been about 17 months since my last accident, and I believe I may have plateaued in my physical recovery. My cognitive abilities have been slightly affected, but defiantly could have been a lot worse. Through all my accidents, I believe I’ve broken more bones than not. I’ve broken my back once and my neck twice. Weird how a split second can change everything. Hopes and dreams seem out of reach, but I’m a sore loser. Very grateful for my supportive family, especially my wife who is my #1 care giver. I will keep working to improve and try to be more accepting of my limitations. Hopefully, no more accidents.

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