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Brett's Story

  • Author: Brett G
  • Date Submitted: Feb 23, 2015

“ The doctors saved my life. Casa Colina gave me a life after brain injury. They never gave up on me.”

After a terrible snowboarding accident in December 2000, Brett Graham almost lost his life. Today, he has a normal life – a challenging job, a wife and a toddler. His treatment at Casa Colina Hospital made all the difference after his frightening accident.

He was snowboarding with his brother, Greg, a skier. On his last run, he was determined to go off a 20-foot jump one more time. His brother watched in disbelief as he landed headfirst and skidded 200 yards down the slope. He wasn't wearing a helmet. Greg rushed to his aid and called for rescue workers. Brett was taken by helicopter to the nearest trauma hospital. His brain was bleeding and swollen. On the Glasgow Coma Scale of 3 to 15, Brett scored a 4 - just one number away from being brain dead.

Time is precious with brain injuries. Three weeks after his accident, he was transferred to Casa Colina Hospital. He couldn't sit up, walk or talk. Despite his poor condition and a fever, therapy began right away - much to his mother's dismay. She kept a calendar of each day's milestones, so the entire family could focus on the positive. After six weeks, Brett was doing everything his doctors anticipated would take him six months.

When he was discharged from Casa Colina Hospital, his doctors, nurses and therapists felt certain he would progress even more at Casa Colina's Transitional Living Center, where he would receive six hours of therapy nearly every day. Ten months after the accident, Brett received his license to drive again and re-enrolled in school. He even went snowboarding on the anniversary of his accident - only this time with protective headgear.