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Survivor Stories

Ryan’s Story

Ryan Ballentine (40) sustained his brain injury when he was 34. As a result of his ABI, Ryan was in a coma for 9 days and had part of this skull removed. Ryan explains how this happened and the impact it has had on his life over the last 6 years...

I had an accident in 2010 which left me in a coma for 9 days and I had part of my skull removed to release pressure on the brain.  The accident involved me jumping on to the front of a slow moving smart car!  Unfortunately the little bumper splitter along the bottom of the bumper could not take my weight anymore and it broke off sending me off my feet to the tarmac at slow speed, but at enough speed to make me hit the tarmac with the back of my head knocking me out cold.
At the time of the accident, my kids were 12, 14 and I had a new born son.  I feel that I lost a year and a half of my life, my kid’s lives and my wife’s life after the brain injury.  I’m so happy my wife has stuck with me through it all, and after all she was and still is my childhood sweetheart, my rock, the glue that keeps us all together.
It has not been easy what my family and I have been through over the last years.  There have been more rough times than good times over this period and I feel if it was not for my 6 month old son at the time of the bump I would have fallen completely apart, he made me fight a lot of the bad times and I’m not saying my older kids didn’t help a lot they did, but that little face every day kept me going and still does to this day.
Every brain injury is different, but I’ve met and talked to people with different reasons behind their injury to their brain, and I don’t think I’ve met one of them that has not said that its stressful, confusing, frustrating and not easy, but that has always been followed by its nice to see I’m not alone and like myself are going through something similar and that there is help out there, people you can talk to that help with letting your feelings, concerns frustration, confusions and stress go to help lift a little weight off your shoulders with each chat.
Brain Injury Matters has really helped and it may take one visit for some, or it may take a lot of visits but it has helped me put a foot on the ladder and start climbing out of this dark place I’ve found myself in again and again.