A New Beginning

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Three years ago today, I was dead. It only lasted a couple of minutes. But, technically speaking, as I laid totally unresponsive on a gurney in a helicopter flying towards Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC), I was clinically dead. Fortunately, my heart continued to pump oxygenated blood through its assigned veins while expert, trained, experienced, and all-around brilliant doctors awaited my arrival. They immediately went to work stitching me back together. That act began a several month process of hospitals, therapists, surgeries, more therapists, additional surgeries, and the realization that I have an incredible family and the most committed, steadfast loving wife in the world.

What happened?

I fell off a bridge. I fell, inexplicably, from a simple two-lane car bridge over Tule Creek in the canyons west of Los Angeles, California, on Highway 33. I fell 38 feet, through cracking trees limbs and clear thin air, and landed in a rocky stream fed by ice melt flowing from a nearby peak. I hit my head very, very hard. No one witnessed the fall. And I have no memory of it.

Fifteen minutes later my colleagues began looking for me, wondering where I wandered off. And 15 minutes after that, they frantically pulled me from the stream and dialed 911. One hour later I landed at VCMC. Two weeks later I awoke from an induced coma surrounded by my family. Two months after that, I slept in my own bed for the very first time since the accident. It was so comfortable. More months later came my last regular outpatient appointment, and I returned to work full time. Then new appointments started.

But this all started three years ago. Why write about it now? I felt compelled to write sooner, certainly. Procrastination played a role, admittedly. So did life. Regardless of anything and everything, life soldiers on. It doesn’t speed up, or slow down, but continues in a lock-step march from one moment to the next. And you learn a thing or two about life when you come incredibly close to losing it. Much happened these past three years, some of it worth writing about.

So this milestone seemed as good a time as any to start sharing thoughts, memories, and lessons learned. To bring folks along my journey, show them a less common view of the world. I plan to write about what happened, and what is happening, through a lens rarely brought to light. I suffered a major Traumatic Brain Injury and, largely, recovered. If my example can help anyone else in a bind, then I am happy.

I’d like to start by sharing an article I wrote about my injuries and recovery after learning of Michael Schumacher and his terrible head-trauma accident, which happened the 29th of December 2013.

Michael Schumacher Injury

Robin Warner

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4 thoughts on “A New Beginning

  1. C

    Robin – you are an amazing survivor and I am privileged to know you. You have been an inspiration to me in my own journey of survival. Thank you.

    -C

  2. Diane

    Thank you for for sharing this Robin. My nephew is undergoing bone marrow transplants….I know your words will encourage him.

  3. Marj D'Alecy

    Robin,
    As you know, your recovery is short of miraculous. An inspiration. In my 20 plus years of working with survivors of TBI, I have unfortunately only met less than a handful of people whom like yourself were able to make as near a complete recovery as is possible. I really believe this is because you were an intelligent and professional person, even though I didn’t really know you before your accident. Having enhanced your brain through education and life experience prior to your injury, I believe, has allowed you to relearn and recover like you have. I definitely encourage you to use your experience to educate others in how we should never take our brains for granted. And inspire hundreds if not thousands of people through your experience. We at Eisenhower Center love when you visit, and even though our clients may forget you, in the moment when you are present, you touch their lives. Come back and visit soon!! And I really look forward to reading more about your recovery and congrats to you and Ammo in the coming months as you welcome a new little life into your world who I know you will most definitely inspire too!!

  4. Cyndie Cole

    Robin,
    What a great start to an amazing story. You are an inspiration and have much to share. Your strength and perseverance was apparent in your will to get back to your life. Watching you and Anne-Marie and your whole family pull together was both wonderful to watch and at times so hard to watch. Not knowing for sure, in the beginning, how things would go made for some very cautious conversations.
    I am truly thankful for your recovery.

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