Thriving After Brain Injury: Patti Foster's Story
5/16/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Megan Reynolds
Patti Foster, a radio personality with a zest for life, was severely injured in a horrific car wreck in 2002, and suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with multiple injuries and fractures all over her body. She had been ejected out of her vehicle after a semi, going 70 mph and pulling a trailer full of cars, had barreled into the back of her SUV that was stopped at a busy, red-light intersection.
“Emergency Medical Services arrived on the scene, no pulse to be found,” Patti said. “So, the white sheet was pulled over my body as I lay unresponsive on the searing-hot highway.”
But Patti survived. For six weeks, her life hung in the balance as she lay in a coma. Patti was eventually admitted to Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas and was completely dependent on her parents to make every decision for her.
“God used Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation to help reveal life again to me. [After my injury] I was thrown into a life-course about character that demanded every ounce of fight and fortitude within me. I am living proof that miracles often walk out of Baylor Rehab.”
Now, almost 14 years post-injury, Patti describes how she chooses to thrive after brain injury.
T – Try again! ….and don’t give up.
H – Have faith in God, even when it makes no sense.
R – Receive love and give love.
I – Intentionally let your audio match your video.
V – Very steadfastly, be about what matters.
E – Endure adversity…and do the next thing.
In March, Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation joins the Brain Injury Association of America in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month.
“Patti’s story is truly inspiring and proof that people after brain injury can not only survive but thrive,” said Randi Dubiel, MD, medical director of traumatic brain injury at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation.
“At Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, we are proud to be one of 16 centers in the nation designated by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) as a model system of care for patients with TBI,” Dr. Dubiel said. “We provide patient-centered care along the continuum of recovery by using innovative therapies and research efforts to ensure our patients have what they need to achieve the best possible outcome.”
Traumatic Brain Injuries By the Numbers
Did you know…
- At least 2.5 million adults sustain TBI’s in the U.S. each year.
- 280,000 people are hospitalized for TBI each year.
- 50,000 people die because of TBI each year.
- Every 13 seconds, someone in the U.S. sustains a TBI (137 each day).
- At least 5.3 million Americans live with TBI-related disabilities.
In 2013, Patti’s gripping book COPING with TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY: One Woman’s Journey from Death to Life was released. As a traumatic brain injury survivor, Patti continues to share her story internationally in the hope it will inspire others.
Megan Reynolds, MS, is the Clinical Research Coordinator for the Level I Trauma Center at Baylor’s flagship hospital in Dallas, Baylor University Medical Center. She is a native Texan and proud UNT Mean Green alum.