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Only alive by the grace of God.

March 5, 2020 Cindy Hoffschneider

I am a 20 year post-TBI survivor. On Dec. 23, 1999, I hit black ice and wrapped my car around a pole. After using the Jaws of Life to get me out, I was life flighted to an Omaha hospital, where I was in a coma 21 days. I had 5 broken bones in my back, broken pelvis, pubic bone, and sacral and 2 collapsed lungs. I had to have a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. I was in 2 different hospitals for a total of 49 days, then months of outpatient rehab. I had a lacerated liver, bladder and kidney and was filling up with blood. It was 19 minutes until help arrived which caused anoxic encephalopathy along with a TBI that the neurologist equated to shaken baby syndrome. I had to relearn how to walk, talk, write, eat, socialize, pretty much everything.. I have been on disability since July, 2000. I was diagnosed with treatment resistant MDD, GAD, PTSD, and recently mild neurocongnitive disorder(early onset dementia). I also suffer from major cognitive deficits, nerve damage in my left ear, reduced feeling and cold sensitivity in my left leg, RSD in left ankle, and double vision (both from nerve damage and optically). But the doctors and nurses call me a walking miracle as they told my husband I could be a vegetable for the rest of my life. I have a 2 inch round bald spot on the back of my head where the pole rubbed up against my head taking the hair follicles with it. I feel this is where God literally ‘smacked me upside the head’ to get my attention. Well, it worked. I thank Him everyday for what he has allowed, and I look forward to the day I can tell my testimony and give glory to God! My husband, Ben, and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary in the hospital when I was still in a coma. I was released from the hospital 2 months earlier then expected

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Picture of brain injury survivor Cathy with quote that says I am grateful to have had resources and support early in my journey.

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