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My Traumatic Brain Injury Story

March 16, 2021 Jeremiah Trnka
Jeremiah Trnka

On June 23, 2012 I was playing in a rugby game in Grand Junction, CO and got tackled while kicking the ball. I suffered a subdural hematoma. I had a craniotomy that day at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Due to a lot of intracranial pressure, on June 26th I had another craniotomy to find the cause. During that surgery, it was decided to leave the bone flap removed for a longer period of time. On July 9th I was moved to the in-patient rehab floor at St. Mary’s Medical Center. I was discharged on August 15, 2012. I spent 53 days in the hospital and continued out-patient rehab until the end of January 2013. On October 4th, 2012, I had my final surgery to replace the bone flap. 

At the time of my injury, my wife and I had lived in Grand Junction only 6 months. We moved from Mandan, North Dakota to Grand Junction for work. When I first “woke up” after my injury I thought we were still in North Dakota. 

I still have some long term side effects. I can’t remember approximately 18 months of time before the brain injury. My memory now isn’t as good as it was before the accident. I have double vision, I can’t move my left toes, and have very poor balance. 

This injury was a lot to go through, in particular for my family, but it was one of the best things to ever happen to me. I have a profound gratitude for life and my many blessings. The medical staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction was superb. I am most grateful to all doctors, nurses, and therapists who help people everyday.

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