My Story

I was born on May 8th, 1984
 
  • I was the youngest of three sons

  • Later my younger sister was born

  • Sports were big in my family and I was raised learning  to play every sport

  • I was also fairly smart growing up

  • Rockin' the speedo at 6 years old

God

  • I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic grade school

  • I believed in God no more or no less than the average kid

  • As I got older, my relationships with people grew, as did my relationship with God

For The Most Part I Was A Happy Boy

  • I had many friends growing up and I had no idea what would happen in the future

  • When I was in the second grade, my Godfather, who was also my cousin, fell off an overpass coming home from a Red’s game

  • He was in a coma three years before dying

Childhood

  • I believe childhood ends the moment you realize you won’t live forever and that you too will eventually die

  • For me, childhood began ending in the second grade when my cousin fell

  • It began to finalize ending with his death in the fifth grade

Resisting Childhood Ending

 

  • Even with my cousin’s death, I tried to resist becoming an adult

  • I wanted to be a child forever

  • I wanted to live a normal life

  • I kept playing sports and being a typical kid

My Early Life

  • Aside from my cousin passing, I lived a pretty normal childhood

  • I played every sport imaginable and I was fairly good at most of them

  • When I was in the 6th grade, my team won the junior pro national championship in basketball

8th Grade...I made the bowl cut look hot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High School

  • I was always looking forward to going to school at Covington Catholic

  • On the entrance exam, I scored in the top three and won an academic scholarship

  • I loved my first year, I played varsity football and I made all region for freshmen basketball

  • As freshman year ended, I was loving life

  • I had a girlfriend I liked

  • I had more friends than I needed

  • Summer rolled around and I partied all summer like it could never end and I could never get hurt

  • That was my flaw…………

Sophomore Year

  • As sophomore year started, I looked at school only as a way to play football

  • I began to play more- rotating in on defense, returning kicks, and doing other small things

  • I still had the same girlfriend and I loved life

  • This was my football picture from that year

  • I was cute

  • Kind of chunky

  • But cute

 

 

 

Friends

  • At the time I had two best friends

  • One played soccer and football at Covington Catholic

  • And one played football at Beechwood

  • I was in a few fights but I really didn’t hate anyone and no one really hated me

September 17th, 1999

  • On Friday, September 17th, we played Beechwood High School in football

  • We got crushed

  • Since football was such a big part of my life, I was upset

September 18th, 1999

  • After football practice in the morning, I went to the Covington Catholic verse Beechwood JV football game with my girlfriend and a few of her friends

  • We watched my one best friend play for Covington Catholic and my other best friend play for Beechwood

  • I also had more friends on both teams

That Night

  • Later that night my two best friends called me from the ones house

  • They didn’t tell me what they had been doing before I got there or what we would be doing that night

  • I paged my brother and asked him to pick me up at our house and drop me off at my friend’s

  • Being a cool brother, he did

My Friend's House

  • He dropped me off and my two friends already had the night figured out

  • They told me we were going to a party in the cemetery

  • They didn’t tell me how we were getting there

We Were All Only Fifteen

  • My best friend who lived where we started the night said his sister’s boyfriend gave him the keys to his car

  • I knew it was dangerous, but these were my two best friends

  • We left his house and before going to the cemetery we stopped down the street at another kid’s house

  • Adding ignorance to stupidity we started drinking

  • I had a little more than a beer in my system when I went out front to toss football with another kid who was already there

As The Night Went On

  • We left his house and went to the cemetery

  • He wasn’t driving too great

  • We got to the party at the kid’s house who lived in the cemetery

The Cemetery

  • At the party, we talked to people and just sat around for a while

  • Some people called us stupid

  • Some acted like nothing was happening

  • No one stopped us

  • We stayed there a while

  • Then we left again

  • We went and got gas

  • We came back

  • And then we left one more time

  • This time we drove around the cemetery

  • He was messing around speeding

  • Before we got out of the cemetery he sped around one last corner…………​

At University Hospital

  • The passenger went for help and the driver stayed with me as I laid there fighting for my life

  • When the paramedics found me, my right lung was collapsed

  • My jaw was dislocated and fractured

  • Paramedics say my head was swollen to the size of a basketball

  • I was air cared to University Hospital

Coma

  • Somehow, I lived through the first night, but I was still unconscious

  • Having been wrong once, doctors now said I would never wake up from a coma

  • I spent two weeks in ICU

  • Time passed and I still lay unconscious

  • I was declared brain dead on October the 5th  and was transferred to Children’s Hospital

  • Months passed and I still lay in a coma

  • My right lung collapsed again

  • As they lifted my arm to put in a chest tube, they dislocated my shoulder

  • One night I opened my mouth so wide that it snapped the wires in my mouth

  • After my Godfather, thoughts of me never waking up weren’t too unreal

Hope

  • In November, they discovered that I might not be brain dead

  • After three months, I started to show signs of life

  • I opened and closed my hand on call one day

  • Hope had gotten so small that it made my mom cry

  • That was my first sign of life

Waking Up

  • In December, I began to regain consciousness

  • I got confused and mad at the world real quick

  • At first, the only thing I remembered from before the wreck was my family and close friends

  • I was so angry and confused that I didn’t even want to be alive

  • My injury was so severe that, at first, I couldn’t stand up or even mutter small words

  • I was so angry at the world that I didn’t think about God

  • My anger grew as people told me what had happened that night

  • For the longest time, it was the anger that fueled my recovery

  • I was discharged five months after the wreck and still couldn’t even stand

Starting Over

  • After being discharged from the hospital, I went back for the second half of the school year

  • That was my 1st real time learning about God since the wreck

  • I soon became mad at God also

  • I wondered why God was punishing me

  • Mad at the world and God, I had little left

  • Nothing special happened that summer and my life was losing meaning

  • I learned that I had to repeat my sophomore year since I missed so much time

  • As my second sophomore year started, I was becoming more and more angry at God and the world

  • I was asking why I was so easy for God to hurt

  • My faith kept getting smaller as bad things kept happening

One Year

  • I stayed mad at God and the world as the one year anniversary of the wreck came up

  • One year passed and it was nothing to anyone besides me

  • I realized that the only things I was remembering were the bad things that happened in life

  • That made it very hard to live

Time Went On

  • I was raised learning how selfish suicide was and how it was taking the easy way out

  • So I never even considered suicide

  • Only remembering the bad things meant that I was constantly watching a horror film over and over again in my mind

  • I started remembering more from before the wreck

  • As time went on, I became very unhappy

  • Everyone always expected me to smile, and, even though I was unhappy, I smiled

  • Even though I was smiling, my unhappiness soon grew to pure hatred

  • Suicide began to cross my mind

  • The only thing that kept me from taking my own life was knowing it’s selfish and taking the easy way out

  • I had gotten through my second sophomore year

  • Even though it seemed like no time at all had passed, the two year anniversary came around

  • By this time, I could walk a fair amount with a cane and I could talk some

  • At this time, I had little faith in God

  • And I thought if there was a God he must hate me

  • It got to the point where my only real motivation to waking up in the morning was in hopes that I would be in another accident that would kill me

September 11th

  • I came into class on this Tuesday to find everyone staring at the TV

  • Someone told me what had happened in New York in the morning

  • I knew my cousin, who was my Godfather’s brother, worked in the World Trade Center

  • But I didn’t know where

  • After what had happened to his brother, I thought there was no way he was hurt

  • Everyone joked about it, but I had the worst feeling

  • Just before lunch I was called into the gym

  • I saw my dad sitting in the stands with a blank look on his face

  • I knew

  • I said “Brian,” he nodded, and my head dropped

  • A single tear formed in my eye

  • I quickly wiped it from my eye and raised my head

  • Right then I quit believing that there was even a God that hated me

  • Now I didn’t care how selfish it was or that it was taking the easy way out, suicide seemed like the only way

  • One week later marked two years since the wreck

  • I started considering how I would kill myself

  • This went on for around a month

  • There were constant reminders on TV and the radio of what had happened that day

  • I think everyone knew what was going through my head

  • My friends told me that in October they were going on retreat

  • They asked me if I was going on it

  • I decided I might as well go

Retreat

 

  • I went into that weekend not knowing what to expect

  • I heard a lot of different stories- rape stories, adoption stories, drug stories- and my story didn’t seem so tough anymore

  • I realized everyone suffers

  • The whole point of life is to suffer

  • It’s what we do in that suffering that makes us human

  • I went and came back from that weekend with a new view on life

  • I no longer considered suicide, I was just happy to be alive

  • It brought back my faith in God because I realized that I hurt myself, and God kept me alive

  • I felt selfish that I thought my story was any more difficult than anyone else’s

Now

  • As far as the present is concerned, I still only remember the bad things

  • But I’ve learned to cherish the good things and hang on to them long enough that it drains out the bad things

  • Enjoy life, but live it so that you’ll have more days to enjoy

  • Respect life

  • I didn’t

  • And it hurt me

One Last Thing To Consider

  • As far as the present is concerned, I still only remember the bad things

  • But I’ve learned to cherish the good things and hang on to them long enough that it drains out the bad things

  • Enjoy life, but live it so that you’ll have more days to enjoy

  • Respect life

  • I didn’t

  • And it hurt me

  • Even in a coma………

  • I was still a very cute boy!

  • Me And My Pretty Sister

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