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 

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…………​

  • Wreck specialists say we were going at least 55 miles per hour around the turn

  • We clipped a headstone, did two 360s, and struck a tree

  • I was thrown through my seatbelt into the tree

  • Some wreck specialists say, if I hadn’t been wearing my seatbelt, I would’ve been thrown past the tree and would be fine

  • Others say I would’ve been thrown directly into the tree and would’ve been killed

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

  • When the paramedics got to the car, I was trapped in the backseat but they could see me gasping for air and they could hear me gargling on my own blood and choking to death

  • They had no way to get to me and waiting to take the car apart meant that I would die……………

  • They knocked out the back windshield and an EMT that was small enough to fit in the car climbed in the backseat with me

  • She lifted my head and called for the suction to get the blood and fluid out of my mouth, but the car was too crushed to get the suction in the backseat

  • I was going to choke to death…………

  • The EMT did her best to clear the blood and other fluid out of my mouth with her fingers but she realized that it wasn’t going to be enough and that I was going to die………..

  • She lifted me to firefighters who were waiting to pull me out of the back windshield

  • When they pulled me from the car, they realized that my right lung was collapsed

  • My jaw was dislocated and fractured

  • Three and a half of my teeth had been knocked out

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

  • The medic on the scene immediately stuck a breathing tube down my throat to try and keep me alive

  • I was Air Cared to University Hospital

At University Hospital

  • When I arrived at the hospital, I still wasn’t breathing on my own

  • That first night, there was close to 100 people in the E.R. waiting to see if I would live

  • They didn’t expect me to live through the first night

  • They wired my fractured jaw shut

  • I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and given a 20% chance to live

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

  • When I arrived at the hospital, I still wasn’t breathing on my own

  • That first night, there was close to 100 people in the E.R. waiting to see if I would live

  • They didn’t expect me to live through the first night

  • They wired my fractured jaw shut

  • I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and given a 20% chance to live

  • 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 the world and losing hope

  • I was asking why I was so easy for the world to hurt

  • I felt like no one cared

  • I was losing more and more hope as bad things kept happening

One Year

  • I stayed mad 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

  • I don’t think that anyone else that has committed suicide was selfish or took the easy way out, but that would have been the case for me

  • 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, didn’t have much hope in life

  • 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 lost all desire to even be alive

  • 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 desire to be alive because I realized that I wasn’t being punished by the world and I was lucky to even be 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

  • Even in a coma………

  • I was still a very cute boy!

  • Me And My Pretty Sister

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