Brain injury changes the lives and tests the faith of a Draper family

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  • Keith Of Utah Roy, UT
    July 22, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Continued.... Also contact the brain association of utah, they were a good resource for me for awhile to help me with my confidence. College will have tutors and a disability resource center to help him as well, when that time comes. Salt Lake Community was excellent for me, computer classes to history to even tennis. IHC has an excellent Neuroscience department, I am very surprised they didn't refer you to Dr. Ryser's clinic?!?!?!?!?!? He is EXCELLENT and renowned around the country! He has an excellent team of neurophycologists and a rehab clinic as well. Over the course of years, he should take interest in his disability and learn as much as he can about it, so he can guard himself from people who will try to take advantage of him, and people who will not know, and understand he even has a disability. YES! He can and may recover that much as I have. Those very close to him will understand his disability, those who are casual friends and strangers, won't have a clue. Shoot for those days ahead! I never thought it could happen, but guess what, it is a very STRONG POSSIBILITY! Keep Smiling!

  • Keith Of Utah Roy, UT
    July 21, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    I suffered a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury 18 years ago today as a matter of fact. Today I am still disabled, but I am in a bishopric, I play golf 3 or 4 times a week, I help a lot of people. He is young, and reading, as hard as it is, is GREAT BRAIN EXERCISE For Him! He forgets I'm sure, but do what I did, Use a highlighter, and highlight the important parts. FACT IS: he doesn't like to read because he forgets what he was reading when he picks up where he left off and is confused. With the highlighter he can skim back a bit and get refreshed on what he was reading. Also READING helps to grow "Dendrites" in the brain, they are kind of like little detour nerves and brain passages around the neurons that help to fix the damage in the brain. It won't get "better" but it will help him improve GREATLY!!! His age is a HUGE ADVANTAGE for him as well!!! Be protective of his activities, but don't stop him from living! I think you are doing the right things. It is a marathon!

  • Prinzessin Ridgecrest, CA
    July 21, 2014 8:55 p.m.

    Life changes with a Brain Injury, but it can be a very good life, even though it is different.
    In 1985, when I was almost 20, I fell/slid downhill 20-30 feet while hiking at Snowbird Ski resort. I spent about 2 months in a coma, then months of rehabilitation, I had to learn to walk, talk, eat, get dressed, care for myself all over again. Now almost 30 years later, I graduated from college, worked as a volunteer in my field, archaeology (I have physical limitations that I've learned to work around) at a local history museum, got married, and have a rewarding life. It isn't what I pictured at age 18, but that's okay.

  • tinahons Trenton, UT
    July 21, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    This story has me in tears...what a beautiful story of faith, hope and all of the challenges that go with it. Best of luck to your whole family, and know that most of us question every day. But, that just means that we are using what Heavenly Father gave us, a brain, free agency and strong spirits.

  • mominthetrenches South Jordan, Utah
    July 20, 2014 7:20 p.m.

    I remember his accident and love that there is such a great follow up story about your family's progress. I have a mother in-law who had her TBI when my husband was four (1972) and they gave her a 7-year life expectancy (when she was 35-ish). She's 75 now and still around; we have been her caregivers since we were married 19 years ago. My third of four children also has Down syndrome. It is easy to question yourself and God. With these two members of our family, though, we revel in their simplest successes. It has forced our entire family to not sweat the small stuff and develop patience, tolerance and compassion on a level that we wouldn't have understood any other way than through caring for these people. Even though it's hard at times, there is a whole new perspective to be gained from caring for your loved ones this way. When the times are tough, adversity shows us we CAN do hard things! Hang in there, and thanks for the great story, Deseret News!

  • Grandmajazz LAVA HOT SPRINGS, ID
    July 20, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    What a beautiful story and a very strong young man and a close family. Thank heavens he was young and had all that goes with youth to recover. My husband recently suffered a very similar accident in a fall. There were many, many prayers but God must have needed him more than we think we do because he only lived four days. Keep getting better for those who weren't able to continue like you .

  • kgibbs Provo, Utah, UT
    July 20, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    My 16 month old just went through his own head trauma. Luckily he was not in a coma but I worry every day if he will be "normal". I wonder if his actions are a part of his age or if they are because of his injury. Being a mom is hard work on it's own, add in a hurt kid and it is a rough ride. Thank you for your inspiration and for this beautiful story.
    If you are interested in our story I have posted it here:

  • Big_Bird West Jordan, UT
    July 20, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    You go guy! You can conquer the world with your positive attitude! What a cutie pie.

  • Tracy A. Provp, UT
    July 20, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    I have to tell you there is something that helps build more neurons, dendrites, synapses, connections in the brain and is especially helpful after brain injury. It is from Q Sciences in P.G.: Empowerplus. There are also stem cell products such as Stem Enhance. I am so inspired by you guys!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    July 20, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    There is always a place for hope in everyone's life as shown in Pete's story and the comment of Southernmiss.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    July 20, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    I'm so happy that he is doing so well. You are an inspiration to all, Pete.

  • Southernmiss kaysville, UT
    July 20, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    So happy for you that things are going so well! We have a very similar situation. Our son was hit by a car and suffered lots of internal injuries and a TBI as well. When he came out of the coma he didn't remember past, but he did remember us..parents and siblings. He was 11 then and just turned 18. He will graduate from Davis High School this coming December and is planning to attend college and study accounting..not bad for a kid they gave no hope to! He does have a completely different personality, and we noticed that as soon as he woke up. But we've decided we like the "new" son better! There are challenges, but they're all worth it! I'm sure you feel as I do, that my son was allowed to stay here for some very great purpose! I don't know exactly what it is, but I know I have greater faith in God because of seeing my son succeed in so many areas that the doctors said wouldn't be possible! My son is my hero.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    July 20, 2014 8:43 a.m.

    An important story for everyone to read and contemplate, It shows the power of a mother's love, a community of caring and the value of faith in God. Will make a great book an d movie to inspire us to be more compassionate and understanding.

  • JapanCougar Apo, AP
    July 20, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    Really beautiful article.

    Keep trucking Pete!

  • Arizonareader ,
    July 20, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    I understand the agony of watching your child in a coma and watching them learn to eat again, walk again, and think again after the coma state lightens. I have been there. And, because it never goes away, I know how each day is a new adventure! Keep on loving the gift of life and trusting God. It isn't the same life you dream about after a TBI but it is glorious to see your child learn how to be a functional and productive adult. My daughter now works as an aide working with Austic children in the school setting and she loves it! She, too, looks as though no injury occurred but her fun thought process we have learned to enjoy the humor and love who we have without grieving for what might have been.