Matthew’s Story

By Deb Zigler, Kitchener, Ontario.
Reproduced from the Ontario Brain Injury Association newsletter.

The afternoon of June 8, 1995 would change our lives forever. A mother gets up in the morning and goes about her day, often not thinking about what could happen later on. I have a different perspective now and am grateful for every moment I have with my children and family. I will never take that for
granted again.

My oldest son, Matthew, who was then 17 and excited about summer holidays and exploring work opportunities, crashed his motorcycle. The accident happened in the parking lot outside our apartment; he wasn’t wearing a helmet and his then 15 year old brother Michael watched it happen. A neighbour rushed
to the scene and with Mike’s help, kept Matt alive until the ambulance arrived.

The local newspaper report the next day stated that the young man “suffered non-life threatening injuries.” Anyone who has observed a family member in a
coma and on life support understands that this is definitely life threatening!! To this day I can visualize the emergency room when I got there-my son, on a stretcher, covered in blood, clothes cut away, a nurse pushing air into his lungs with a bag, in a comatose state. I touched his arm, praying silently, tears streaming down my cheeks, that Matt would live. Michael was devastated and inconsolable, blaming himself for not, somehow preventing the accident.
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