A New Addition

Ashleigh recently bought the cutest puppy! The dog is a mix between a toy poodle and a Bichon Frise. Ashleigh named her Sophie.

We have had an English Mastiff for a number of years now. The problem is he is too big to really be with Ashleigh that much plus he has become very protective of Ashleigh since her accident. So, we have been keeping him in the kitchen away from the doctors and therapists and others who come to the house.

Sophie should stay pretty small and will be a good lap dog for Ashleigh whether in her bed or in her wheelchair. She has gone to soccer games with us and rides along in Ashleigh’s lap. Very cute.

We are hoping she hurries and grows out of the biting stage but other than that she is a good dog.


  1. Anonymous on October 31, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    your puppy is so cute. I sure she will bring you great joy. She looks like a stuffed animal. You picked a beautiful name. Keep up the good work.


  2. Anonymous on October 31, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    your dog is so cute. You picked out the perfect name. I hope she stops chewing up your things. Thank you so much for your stories.
    I have learned so much from you site. You are one of my heros. I wish you and sopie the best. I will be checking on you latter.
    Love Kathy

  3. Stephen on November 25, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    I’ve spoken at length with Ashleigh’s mom about TBI issues. My wife, Cynthia suffered a traumatic brain injury by way of malpractice some seventeen years ago. Through the help and support of family, friends and the medical profession, Cynthia has far exceeded every prediction for her future. After two years and three rehabilitation programs, Cynthia went on to finish her graduates degree at the Johns Hopkins School Of Advanced International Studies. She has also written a book to tel her story, a sample chapter of which is available at:

  4. Darlene B on December 16, 2007 at 6:07 pm


    We are one year out with our daughter who suffered a TBI on Nov 25 2007. http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/racheldombroski
    Please contact me….I have some questions.


  5. My name; Gloria on January 9, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Hi Ashleigh, my name is Gloria and I live in Spokane. I do the support group for Brain injuries here at St. Luke’s rehab. I just happened to run across your story on the web. I think it’s a wonderful way to reach out to other Brain Injured people, and I would like to be able to share this site with my group. we have 40 people in our group to date, and more and more will becoming as we continue to grow, and as many return from war. Your hard work, and your moving forward is truely a positive note, that needs to be shared.I want to thank you for sharing and for your story, may I use this at our group? Gloria (justfomejustice@msn.com)

  6. Tracy on January 12, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Hello Ashleigh,
    I have read you story and watched your video. You are a trooper and I’m glad to see you continue to move forward. My son was in a car accident Nov.10,2006. Brach was in a coma for 6 1/2 weeks. He has returned back to High school but he still struggles with short term memory from time to time. So I want you and your family to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless to you all.

    Tracy Klapwyk from Hamilton,Montana

  7. DaviLyn on January 25, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing Ashleigh’s story through this website. I’ve browsed through it several times in the past year as my son progresses in his recovery from a severe tbi. It’s been both inspirational and educational. Just wanted to let you know that I’d love to see more frequent updates about Ashleigh and your family. Love, DaviLyn

  8. csctorr on January 27, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Like Ashleigh, I suffered a TBI. I suffered my TBI on Novemeber 18, 2006. I was standing on top of a moving bus in Lawrence, Kansas. I hit my head on a bridge. Prior to my TBI I constantly owned a dog! But a little more than a month prior to my TBI my wife had to put my dog to sleep. Then after I got home from the hospital, I missed having a dog so badly. So my wife was nice enough to go out and buy me another dog. I had dogs constantly in my life! And about 4 or 5 months after my TBI I got another dog! I was so excited. We named him Slugger. He is a Cock-a-poo. The time from my TBI until we got Slugger was the longest I had ever been without a dog! Slugger brings me so much joy! I can’t even describe how happy he makes me!

  9. Kacey on January 29, 2008 at 11:18 am

    Where to begin? I too, have suffered a TBI, from a car accident March 29, 2006. I, in no way, feel sorry for myself. I know how lucky I am to have accomplished all that I have in the past 22 months. I was in a coma for 4 weeks, in-patient care in Kernan Rehab for a month, home care, out-patient rehab and have become very aquainted with my neurologist, ENT, psycologists and many, many others. I read on this site something that sums everything up so simply. When asked how we deal with all of the thing that we are dealt with, we just answer, “We have to.”
    We became very good friends with the family of my roommate while I was in Shock Trama and again in Kernan. She is still in a coma.
    People just don’t know what it’s like (a TBI) unless they have been there.
    We went to court against the man that caused the accident. He got fined $300 and 1 point put on his licence. Go figure.
    Enough about the negatives, some positives actually came from the accident. Let me start by saying, my 9 year old son was in the car with me and didn’t even get a bruise. Amazing to me and everyone that sees a picture of the car. Also, people know better than to complain to me about the petty stuff. 🙂 I realized how wonderful my family and my husband are and many more good things but I need to stop babbling now. You will always remain in my thoughts and prayers. I look forward to coming back to your blog.

  10. aunt keeta on February 5, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    hi ashleigh,
    like you, i was also in a car accident and had a tbi, i was 29 at the time, had a preschooler and a 1st grader, who luckly weren’t in the car when i got hit. i have to tell you that being in your situation, thankfully they knew you had a brain injury. my hospital and doctors all missed mine, as well as my concussion, because my eye’s didn’t dialate, they thought i was fine. i’m blessed to have wonderful family, as are you, to help me cope and to pick up the slack when i drop the ball, which seems like all the time, but i just do the best i can each day. i have short term memory loss, i mispell words all the time and can’t tell if they are right or not, my spatial awareness isn’t what it used to be, i bump into everything, and wear a neck brace like you to help me hold up my head as i had damage done to my neck in the accident. what i want you to know is that you are never, never a burdon on your family, with all that they do to help you and care for you, they would do it in a heartbeat. i’ve never talked with them, or met them, but the fact they’ve gone to so much trouble working on this website, you can tell they are happy to be there in every way for you. and they know how much you love them and appreciate everything they do for you. every day with you is a good day for them 🙂
    i love your pooch, i have a weiner dog named charlie brown, though i should have named him linus as he loves to drag his blankie everywhere he goes. pets are wonderful for rehab, and for our spirits, they don’t care if we didn’t brush our hair, or take a shower that day, they’ll love and slobber on us just the same. i hope you have a great time with your doggy. take care sunshine,

  11. Anonymous on February 23, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    What a gorgeous Puppy!! Now you’re making me want one too!

    All the best,
    Darlene Lee

  12. Ernie and Ashleigh Szabo on February 26, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    A correction to Stephen’s post (Comment number 3 above)

    Searching for the Open Door

  13. Anonymous on April 5, 2008 at 5:04 am

    Hi AShleigh
    I am a recent new grad in physiotherapy in Perth Western australia. I chanced upon your site while doing some research. Its good to see that you have come a long way since your accident. Wishing you all the best in your future recovery. You are an inspiration to all.
    I will be sure to visit your site to see your progress!

    Love Mel

  14. Anonymous on April 23, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    ur pup is so cute I was in a car reck 4 yaers ago I still going throw srgrea today I hoe u get better

  15. tonyameanmom on May 20, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    I am the mother of a TBI patient. My son Chris was in a skateboarding accident April 25, 2007, and now 13 months later, I’m finally getting to read your site. He spent a month in Shock Trauma and then in a rehab hospital for 8 months thereafter. But like you, he is home now and I couldn’t be happier. I was happy to see you have a new puppy, he is cute. I’m seriously thinking about getting Chris a new dog since I had to put his to sleep while he was in the hospital. Chris is always looking for his dog eventhough I remind him that she is gone now. I happy to see that every day is a positive one for you and your family as it is with me and my son.
    Our prayers and blessings are with you and your parents. Hang in there and keep up the good work.
    Tonya & Chris
    Sykesville, MD

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