Today marks another anniversary in the world of traumatic brain injury.
Today marks four months since Frank’s accident – four months since the knock on the door in the middle of the night – four months of tears, and joy, and pain, and sadness, and hope, and love.
In that time, we have watched on the sidelines as Frank pushed himself through the coma to squeeze my hand to assure me that somewhere, in this horror, he was still with me, fighting inside to come home. We have watched as I trusted his strength and pushed to have him taken off the vent – and watched him take his first breath on his own – and live. Many watched as Frank grabbed my arm, pulled me to him, and asked me “What happened? Did anyone else get hurt?” in a moment of clarity. His first concern was for others, and his responsibility for anyone else that may have been involved in the accident.
We watched as he struggled to stand, and to see, and to walk, and to use his right arm. He fought against the tubes, the IV’s, the restraints – to do things himself, to try it again, to get through the pain. We watch therapists push him to feed himself, dress on his own, stand, walk, reach and think. He met each challenge head on, he focused on his goals, and he worked to achieve the highest scores on each test he was given.
We watched as he remembered, and ran, and jumped and pulled the weight. He wrote facts when he needed to, he played football outside, he jumped over the lines, and lifted more weight, each time, just a little more.
Today, he scores even higher on the brain tests, he begs to be able to drive, he goes to the gym, he plays soccer with his boys. He looks like you and me. He works on his brain rehab on the computer, he pushes to remember the important facts, he strives to not get frustrated, and he knows he needs to write things down.
Today, four months after the life threatening accident, he continues to be with his family at home. Today, he is doing everything in his power to be the best he can be.
Today, he is Frank Mackall – Dad, husband, friend, son, uncle, cousin, and God willing, someday – he will be back to his favorite title – Officer Frank Mackall 642