Two months after his 15th birthday, Brad sustained a  traumatic brain injury while riding his bike and was air-lifted  to the hospital. He was on life support and not expected to live through the night. Although Brad survived the night,  doctors told his parents that he would never wake up from  his coma. Brad, however, had other plans.

A month after being hospitalized, Brad was transferred to the Inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit at St. Charles. Still in a coma, the rehabilitation specialists at St. Charles were able to remove Brad’s tracheotomy, begin coma stimulation,  and work to bring him back. After several months, Brad was  “awake” enough that he began re-learning everything he lost – how to walk, talk, eat, drink and think.

Five months after arriving at St. Charles, Brad returned home.  He continued rehabilitation on an outpatient basis and, to the  astonishment of many, he proudly graduated on time from high school with his NYS Regents diploma.

Today, Brad is a thriving young adult. He recently graduated from St. Joseph College with a degree in marketing, works as  a DJ, volunteers and has a girlfriend. He tells people to never  take life for granted. And, even when facing a difficult path in  life, he urges, “Don’t lose faith in yourself and your ability to  handle the bumps in the road.”

As a traumatic brain injury survivor, Brad offers this advice with the voice of experience.