Inspiration Found From Brain Injury Victim
This morning, during my foray through social media and the news, I came across a YouTube video entitled: “Re-learning My Broken Memories, Inspirational Monologue – by Sam Way.” As an attorney who represents brain injury victims and enjoys sharing inspiration, the headline interested me. I clicked the link.
The video opens to a young man, in his late teens, walking onto a stage through a door. He looks around, shaking, as if trying to see if all his limbs joined his journey through the portal. Finally, he notices a chair in the center of the stage and disjointedly walks to the chair.
As his tremors continue, the young man peers at the door, pondering its very existence. The tremors build to a climax as the first word, “YOU!” rockets out of his mouth with seemingly every ounce of the young man’s strength.
I found myself struck with an unnerving skepticism as to the veracity of the video. He displayed classic signs of a traumatic brain injury, but they were so prevalent that I thought, “this may be some sort of cruel and elaborate ruse.” I immediately paused the video and looked into its uploader’s profile.
That person was Sam Way, known as sammiemagoo2 via YouTube. Sam uploaded around 1575 videos at the time of this writing. The video showed the same young man that I viewed on stage struggling through a number of workouts and describing his life, including videos on learning to walk with a cane and swimming underwater.
I wanted to know more about who this person was and what he was about. The answer came from one of Sam’s videos where he and a member of his team read a local newspaper article.
Sam was found in October 2004, at 10 years of age, Sam was found wrapped in a sleeping bag, drugged, and possibly hit by a train. Authorities found Sam’s father nearby wrapped in blankets and he was eventually convicted of criminal negligence. Sam’s video has an inserted visual comment that states, they “still don’t know why [his father] did that.
At this point, I was convinced and sought to hear the rest of Sam’s message. Between long pauses, Sam gives some perspective on his life, stating that he “would never have seen this life coming when [he] was younger… would never accept someone who had a brain injury.” He admit that he “would have just made fun of them for their disability… they were too different.”
Sam admits to some of the issues that we’ve discussed on this blog too. He never thought that someone would help him out and stated, “I thought his life was over.” After a long and quieting pause, Sam rejoiced, “Look at me now! I can walk and talk and do so much more!”
Sam concludes with a final message to all “normal” people. “…STOP picking on other people because of their differences… they just may be helping YOU when YOU go through a life changing event, like a Traumatic Brain Injury.”
As a traumatic brain injury attorney, I’ve seen situations similar to Sam’s. Admittedly, they’re typically milder in severity. Yet, I was entranced by Sam’s willingness, determination and strength in sitting down in front of a camera to do something so challenging.
Check out more of Sam’s videos at his home page on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/sammiemagoo2