Stories of Amazing Recoveries from Brain Injury

Brian Webb

May 3, 2005

My name is Brian Webb and I plan to run in the Flying Pig Marathon this May in Cincinnati, Ohio because I can. Running in general is my way of making a statement that I am still alive. My future looked bleak nearly seven years ago. I am a T.B.I survivor. I suffered an A.V.M (Ateriovenous malformation), a blood vessel burst in the back of my brain, killing my life as I knew it.

I graduated from college when fate dealt this cruel hand. Life seems to happen when you are making plans. I wanted to spread my wings and fly to the new horizons that waited fro me. Excited to have anew life outside of school, possibilities seemed endless. Then my accident happened. A week and a day after graduating from college my injury took place. Supposedly, the theory is that life begins anew after graduation. Mine came to an abrupt end.

I suffered a headache, kind of like a sinus headache. This headache was located in the back of my head. I started getting sick and passing out in my apartment. My brother found me passed out in the bathroom and called 9-1-1. The ambulance came, picked me up, and took me to the ER at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. My family did not know what was wrong with me and the staff treating me had very grim news for my parents. "If he doesn't die during the night", the doctor said, "he will most definitely be a vegetable, or in the very least blind." All fo these theories were incorrect. Nevertheless, my life changed, and I had to go on a new path.

The theory is I am supposed to be dead, or the very least a vegetable, yet today I run. A marathon is 26.2 miles! And I am going to run it. I have the luxury of not having the pressure to win, I have already won! One out of ten people in this nation run a marathon. I run it because I can. I heard that I am running away from my problems. That may be true. I have not had a serious job since college. I will probably never be in theory happy, yet I am so joyful that I am alive. All of my friends have found that special someone. My friends are starting families with their new spouses. Me? I think I missed the bus. So, what do I do? I take it to the gym and work out my problems through exercise. I train for my marathon by running half an hour everyday then two to three hours on the weekends. I ran the Cincinnati Flying Pig marathon this past Sunday, May 1. I finished with a time of 05:19:53, but remember the important fact is that I finished! I am thankful for my injury, because I had to die to learn to live. Since fitness is my new passion, I have decided to become a personal trainer.

A long way from where I started out. This injury has helped me to figure out life. Most people seem to be afraid to live. I suffered a mid-life crisis at 22, so I am not afraid. Frankly, I cannot get enough out of life. Don't get me wrong, life is hard. Life can seem to be very difficult. Yet, if one remembers where they have come from and where they are going, life can be a beautiful thing. I want to leave you a quote from Winston Churchill. His last public address to the University of Oxford. His speech consisted on only six words. "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."

Those simple words are now at the center of my life. Hope is contagious, and as long as we are alive, hope never dies. So, don't give up, don't ever give up. Thank you.


Brian Webb