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Personal Stories from Survivors and their Families and Friends 


Troy Mundt (6/25/74-3/20/2018) Former President of Helmets 4 Kids

         When I was 24 I was involved in a bicycle accident. I was not wearing a helmet. I suffered a traumatic brain injury.  I do not remember the accident. I vaguely remember being in rehab. Apparently my brain injuries were so bad that they had to put me in a coma. I do not know how long I was in a coma. I can’t even remember how long I was in rehab. I was confused and kept trying to leave but I was in a locked area of the hospital.  The transition back to life I imagine was not easy, I do not remember all of it. Luckily I have loving friends and family that helped me through. It is good to have support like that when you are coming into life new. Not knowing.  A dear friend even put together a benefit concert to help pay my hospital bills. Luckily my employer kept my job waiting for me. Otherwise I would be lost and unemployed. The after effects include epilepsy, I now have to medicate for life. With breakfast every morning I take three medications for it that say caution may cause drowsiness or dizziness then I go to work.  I take them all again with dinner. Memory loss is an issue. I have a friend who will tell me a story and I ask “did I know that?” he says he loves talking to me because he can tell met the same story over again and it is new to me.  Sometimes I wonder if I remember less than others. How much do other people really remember? Am I really that different?  I have lost my sense of smell. I think there was a lilac bush in my back yard as a child. I have no idea what they smell like, I just remember it being good. I never know if my food is burning until it is too late. The part of my brain that filters things before I speak does not always work so well, I have to work extra hard when speaking to others to ensure that I word things properly. When I am relaxed with friends and family things can slip, luckily I have people that understand. My girlfriend is typing this, because if I did, it wouldn’t come out quite right.  My emotions can be erratic I can get upset or cry for no reason, that is probably because I suffer from depression and PTSD. It is a terrible thing to not know if I am feeling or experiencing things the way I am because of the injuries I sustained or if I would have felt this way any way. I often ask myself and others “is this normal” sometimes it is, sometimes it ‘s not.  I had to take salt tablets because my body did not keep electrolytes like it should. This corrected itself after a couple of years. I wonder what all might be corrected in time. In the end I consider myself quite lucky. Most people who suffer a traumatic brain injury like mine do not turn out so well.  Again I am grateful for the family and friends who helped me. Eventually I got back to life. That is easier done at 24 than as a child. Restating your life is easier when you have lived life and have a foundation.  I would have to say in retrospect the worst part of the accident was the pain, worry and sleepless nights that I caused my friends and family.  Writing this is difficult because I have to come to terms with everything. To get through life I play it off like it is something that just happened, a stubbed toe. The truth is it is a weight I will always carry; luckily I do not carry it alone.

Troy Mundt