Coming Back from Brain Injury
When Ronnie Grigsby arrived at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute it was the sixth hospital he had been to since his traumatic brain injury (TBI) and broken neck. A Department of Defense contractor, Ronnie was thrown more than 40 feet after an explosion while working in the Middle East.
“When I arrived at St. Luke’s, I had been in two hospitals in the Middle East, one in Germany, one in Seattle and one in Idaho. I couldn’t walk and had several complications related to my brain injury as well as other injuries,” said Ronnie.
Finally, at St. Luke’s, Ronnie was able to make several improvements. “When I got to St. Luke’s, I was in a wheelchair. When I left I was walking with just a cane. Just over a year later, I walk a mile a day and do exercises in the gym five days a week.”
Ronnie attributes his success to the professional staff who were honest with him and helped him reach his goals. “The medical team there was very clear and honest about what I would need to do on my end to get home again. They worked with me and encouraged me,” said Ronnie. He said he appreciated the personal approach he received and felt that the staff really understood what he was going through, but reminded him that it would take time and to focus on his goals.
“As a survivor of a traumatic brain injury, I want other patients to know that it might seem like the end when you are injured, but go in with a good attitude, set your goals, give it 110% and talk with other TBI patients for peer support and to learn what works for them,” said Ronnie who is actively involved with the Brain Injury Association of Washington’s Spokane chapter which meets monthly at St. Luke’s.
As for goals, Ronnie continues to set new goals and works to achieve them. He now walks over a mile a day and hopes to get back to work in his field or go back to school for criminal justice and management. He focuses on each new day and the accomplishments he has achieved so far on his road to recovery while focusing on the future and appreciating the high-quality treatment he received in Spokane.