Q: Can you describe yourself?
A: I’m Shawn, a current and proud member of Jodi House. Despite life not always being easy, I have never been a quitter. I continue to thrive in the best way I know how. Although I am not able to do many of the things I used to love to do, I am hopeful to do some of these things in the future, especially with surfing. I would love to compete in surfing again. I love the ocean and want to get back out in the water. That is what made me most happy, surfing. I love photography of nature and wildlife and have done a bit of that during the pandemic. I hope to continue this.
Q: How did you sustain your brain injury?
A: I suffered a number of brain injuries through sports, specifically in soccer. My worst head injury occurred when I was in an auto accident. I was so badly injured that they didn’t realize I had broken my shoulder! Then 5 years ago, I suffered a significant mini-stroke.
Q: How did you hear about Jodi House?
A: I heard about Jodi House around 5 years ago after a sudden and significant mini-stroke. My neurologist suggested Jodi House to me.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a Jodi House member?
A: My favorite part about Jodi House is the classes and the people.
Q: What is a major goal or accomplishment you have achieved at Jodi House?
A: I’ve become a much happier person since joining Jodi House and have taken classes and gotten some wonderful help. Case Management has helped me reach some of my goals. I have become better with organization -- at home, with my thoughts and in general. Case Management connected me with Habitat for Humanity to help complete home repairs.
Q: How do you describe Jodi House and its programs to your friends and family?
A: It is a home away from home for TBI survivors and thrivers. We can partake in classes and all come together to interact with one another. It’s an understanding place.
Q: How has your life changed since your brain injury?
A: It has been life changing in the sense that I am not able to do certain things that I used to enjoy and excel at, especially with sports. After my TBI, I fell into a different line of work, working with people of varying disabilities. I worked with someone on the weekends and through the Department of Rehabilitation, I was able to get a full-time job doing something similar. I also started volunteering with the Special Olympics and did that for a long time.
Q: If you could add anything to Jodi House, what would it be?
A: I would like a longer day program, even an hour or two longer.
Q: What do you hope to achieve in the future? Do you have any upcoming goals planned out either yourself or through Jodi House?
A: I have ideas on some goals regarding employment. I have an eye for photography and am interested in pursuing that. I hope to improve the condition of my home and want to remain happy living where I am living. I want to keep working on meditation and keeping a positive outlook on what the future holds.
Q: What is it like receiving case management services from Jodi House? How have these services affected your life?
A: Without Case Management, I don’t know where I would be. It has been a huge help and support in my life. It is comforting to know that you have that support behind you. Through Case Management, I was able to get reduced bus fare, I have been connected to a few apps for free (such as Headspace for mental health), and I was able to get connected to Habitat for Humanity to help with my home repairs.
Q: What would you like people to know about being a brain injury survivor?
A: First, I would like to say not to judge a book by its cover. Us TBI survivors are not just survivors, but thrivers. We are much more capable of doing things than others may think. Treat others as you want to be treated.