10 Year Class Reunion

Ashleigh went to her ten-year high school class reunion recently and she said she had a real good time. She saw a number of friends and even saw one of the boys she used to have a crush on in high school.

We were going to go to a football game on Friday night where the class was going to have special seating in the end zone but there was a big storm that delayed the game so we decided to skip the game rather than risk Ashleigh getting caught in a thunderstorm.


The dinner was on Saturday and we had fun. Ashleigh looked great. A number of her classmates came over to talk with her. My wife and I always worry because some people don’t know how to react with Ashleigh being non-verbal. But once a few people stopped to talk with her a number of others did as well. We stayed for the meal and even for some of the karaoke before Ashleigh got too tired and we had to leave.
Ashleigh got emotional at one point when one of her friend’s mother said that her son was going to sing a song to Ashleigh. Ashleigh actually ended up being able to voice at that time and she told him she loved him.  

A couple of the guys we spoke with are in the service and we pray they stay safe. One person in particular has already had multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and his younger brother is still over there. I don’t know how their parents stand it.

All in all Ash had a good time. The next day her Mom asked what she thought of seeing the boy she liked and we got what we call her “hubba-hubba” eyebrows.



  1. Kathe Perez on October 29, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Blessings to you and your family for telling this poignant story.

    Stories like this must be told, ever though they are tragic and difficult to tell and difficult to hear.

    My brain injury story is quite different, but as a mother of two children now in their twenties (they were 10 & 14 when I suffered my brain injury) my heart knows the pain, the joy, and the passage of time that brings small gifts, but also reminders of what has changed.

    I'll keep reading your blog. Thank you so kindly for sharing it.

    Kathe Perez

  2. wendy on December 13, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Dear Mr.Szabo and Ashleigh,

    I found your site about a year and half ago when I was looking on line for information on traumatic brain injury. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all of your insight. The only thing I was finding at that time was clinical and it was just as confusing as the doctors talking to us in the hospital. You see at the time I was looking our 18 year old son had just had a car accident and had suffered a severe brain injury and a broken back, lung contusions etc. They had given him a 50% chance of survival. I was looking for anything that would give me more hope than the doctors were giving me. To make a long story short I haven't visited your site in a while to see how Ashleigh is doing because we have been busy with our own therapy, doctors visits, clinical trials plus high school which Jarreth is in the process of completing although during those first few monthes I must have read it at least 100 times. The reason I am writing now is to tell you THANK YOU for all the advice, information, whatever you would like to call it. I didn't feel so in the dark when something would come up that therapist or doctors hadn't discussed before. Jarreth also has a bioness and is in the process of looking at getting a Baclofen Pump. My husband built him a device for gait training here at home and we attend therapy 2X a week in Tucson which is 90 miles from our house. You and your family have been so inspirational to me. Because of you and your family my family wasn't totally clueless as to what to expect. So again Thank you for all your help in our time of dire need of someone who understood what we were going through and are still going through.
    Wendy Cohorn

  3. Sherry on December 20, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    My son Pat sustained a TBI in April 2009. I'm glad I found your blog. We've had Pat at home for one month now. It has been a very difficult time but we are glad he is with us. It is very hard because we miss him so much. He's 27 years old and it is sad to think of what he is missing out on. Our hope is that with continued therapy he will progress. I'm glad to know that Ashleigh is off the g-tube. Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.

  4. phyllis on January 3, 2010 at 1:37 am

    My son was 27 yrs.In 2007 he had a motorcycle accident.A little forgetful.his girl move out,and I saw all along with him.he talks more,he is always sleeps. how long does this go for. he is doing well,but a little different.low self a steam. Some time I see my son =,some a different.but he doing great must of the time ,My family did not want to help and now I refuse to talk to them,he feel bad

  5. Anonymous on January 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

    This nearly parallels my daughter's accident in September 2005. She too was a senior in high school. Had severe tbi with secondary injuries to brain stem. She does not speak and uses a computer to communicate. She is far from recovered and we struggle to find a program to get her in when she graduates from high school this year. Let all who go through this that there is always hope. If you don't listen to the doom and gloom voices of the doctors, then you will get through it. And above all, pray and believe that God has His hands in all of it, and no matter what, if your child is saved, then he or she will be healed in Heaven, even if they are not healed on earth. This is not our home; Heaven is. God bless.

  6. Caprice on April 26, 2010 at 3:00 am

    My son was a passenger in a horrific car accident on December 27th, 2009. His best friend the driver was killed and Ryan sustained spinal cord as well as severe brain injuries. He is a senior in high school and had his whole life ahead of him. I spend everyday with him at the nursing home he lives in. I pray everyday for more improvement and that someday he will get off the ventilator. He is in PT/OT everyday as well as what I do with him. Thank you for sharing your story with others. It is very informational. So much of what I am going through is what you have been through.

  7. Marty Salo on April 29, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I had a head injury when I was 11, now I am roughly 39. I enjoy using computer mediated communication methods. My verbal skills I guess are pretty good. I think that others can probably also benefit from greater computer mediated communication.

  8. Terry on May 24, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I think I have read this website a couple of times now, and the information from your daughters story has helped dramatically.

    My daughter was hit by a car on her way to school, the driver was going 35 mph at impact and the last 3.5 months have been hell — She has almost died on us 5 times now and one of those was our decision to keep her alive.

    Reading your website early on has really helped, in fact I was given so little information on what to expect I could not help but to go research to find similar stories. It helps to hear others going through the same thing.

    My daughter today is on that teeter of consciousness – she is awake but only barely any consciousness at this point. She is about a 3 on the rancho scale.

    I also found it helps to write my feelings and so I took that and began to write about my daughter at http://www.macalatbi.wordpress.com

    I again thank you for creating your site, it has helped more then I think I even know.
    Thank you!!


  9. Linda on August 20, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I recently suffered a TBI. I was on the back of a carriage pulled by a horse as were attending a clinic for Combined Driving Event (speed event on wheels). I was tossed from the carriage as we hit a rut. I landed on my head. I did have a helmet and a padded safety vest on. I had a Right Frontal Lobe injury, blood on my brain and spinal fluid on the brain. I had a shunt for drainage. I am home now. I have went to many web sites trying to learn more. I agree with other people who said they were hard to understand as they are clinical. I found this website very informative, helpful and compassionate. I am sorry to hear about the hurdles your daughter and family have had to go through. My thoughts and prayers are with your family, and your daughter.

  10. Jane on October 25, 2014 at 7:14 am

    This is the first site I have got anything from since my husbands ABI in June. You are right to follow your instincts and seek a aggressive therapy. I found rehab centre just wanted to focus on what he couldn’t do, there was no hope. It is a marathon and it’s hard to see the slow, slow change, but it is there. The hardest part is the loneliness when you’ve “lost” your best friend. I’m a professional women with a can do attitude but sometimes the flat car battery I must deal with alone is the last straw. Lots of tears over stupid minor things. It’s been a very hard 5 months.

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