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Pictures of You

Levy, Annie

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000444224.18835.3a
Departments: Photo Essay

Angela Leigh Tucker, who sustained a traumatic brain injury.

A photo series of Neurology Now readers.

To see more of Annie Levy's photography, go to annielevy.com.

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Angela Leigh Tucker, age 35.

When was your life impacted by a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? On July 31, 2008, my husband and I were leaving a Yankees baseball game when an 18-wheeler jackknifed and crashed into us. Six weeks later, I awoke in a hospital and found out my husband was killed. We would have celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary while I was in the coma.

How did this impact your life? I lost a husband, a former life, physical abilities, a new home, and a career. But perhaps the most challenging loss caused by severe TBI is loss of independence.

Is there a person, place, or thing that has been a support to you? The first person is my Bonus-Mom, as I call her: Mary Wall Tucker. She is a nurse-practitioner in North Carolina, where I did my outpatient recovery. The second is my prayer partner, Britt Hall. His friendship has helped me maintain faith in the midst of so much loss.

Do you have any advice for other TBI survivors? Try to find the light within the darkness. Focus on blessings. I'm a young, disabled widow, but by taking care of myself and accepting help, I've never felt healthier physically, emotionally, or spiritually.

© 2014 American Academy of Neurology