Oregon Impact provides programs to ensure that our children are riding safely on our roadways, teens understand the consequences of impaired and distracted driving, and the adults in their lives are given the tools to guide them.
After the crash comes the impact that affects so many families. Here are some stories from the brave families in our communities of Oregon that have been affected by this devastation.
After years of making bad choices, I finally met the man of my dreams. It seemed as if John was the only man on this earth who could love me through all my mistakes and do so unconditionally. I had never experienced anything like that in my life before. We shared our joy with family and friends and were married in my parent’s back yard on September 19th 1992.
Our lives permanently changed in Ogden Utah when returning to our hotel on the night of June 12th 1999 while attending a weekend business conference, when we were slammed into by a hit and run drunk driver. My head repeatedly hitting the passenger window, breaking my skull and sending 24 pieces into my brain, I was diagnosed with a severe traumatic brain injury and given a 3% chance to live.
When I woke from my four day coma, I had lost 10 years of age memory and 42 years of emotional memory. After years of rehab learning to walk, talk, eat, think and write, I still and always will have challenges because of a young man’s choice to drink, then get behind the wheel of a car.
Because of the loss of my emotional memory, our wedding day is a day of John & me getting dressed up and a group of people in my parent’s back yard. Our week honeymoon at the beach is nothing more than a week at the beach.
Struggling to do simple things, like vacuuming or buttoning a shirt can sometimes result in an uncontrollable rage, and can be a daily occurrence if I’ve failed to get the two naps I need in order to make it through an evening. Not being able to drive or work sometimes makes me feel like I’m not really contributing to the household. And while I know that’s not at all the way John feels, I can’t help but feel that way sometimes.