Anthony Aquan-Assee – Traumatic Brain Injury from a Serious Motorcycle Accident
Submitted by Anthony Aquan-Assee
On September 23, 1997, I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury and my life was re-directed as I was involved in an extremely serious motorcycle accident.
When the paramedics arrived at the scene of the accident I was VSA – Vital Signs Absent. I wasn’t breathing, I didn’t have a pulse, I wasn’t responsive to any stimulation and I was bleeding from my nose, ears, eyes and mouth. All signs of very serious brain damage.
They rushed me to the closest hospital to the scene of the accident, Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga. Due to the extent of my injuries I was then airlifted to St. Michael’s Trauma Hospital in Toronto.
It was at St. Michael’s Hospital where I underwent numerous life-saving surgeries.
Not only was I in a very deep coma and remained in a coma for two weeks, but I also sustained numerous life threatening internal injuries.
These injuries required the following surgeries:
- Neurosurgery to reduce the swelling in my brain;
- Open heart surgery to repair my badly damaged heart;
- Lung surgery to repair my badly injured lungs;
- General surgery to remove my spleen;
- Vascular surgery to repair my ruptured femoral artery;
- General surgery to repair my lacerated intestines;
- Orthopaedic surgery to repair my broken knee; and,
- Plastic surgery to repair the broken bones in my face (broken nose, jaw, cheek bone and bone above left eye).
I was not expected to live as a result of all these injuries. However, through my persistence and my determination as well as the support that I received I was given the gift of a second life and a second chance, which in essence was an opportunity for me to start over again.
After 2 months in the Neuro-Trauma Intensive Care Unit (ICU) my health improved enough for me to be transferred out of the ICU to a private room on the neurological floor. It was around this time that my family realized that a lawyer with expertise in the area of brain injuries would be necessary. After hearing positive reviews about Thomson Rogers, my father arranged a meeting at their Bay St. office. My father met two lawyers, Mr. Lawrence Mandel and Mr. David Tenszen, to discuss my situation. They were very helpful and informative, so much so, that my father agreed to have them represent me.
I had just finished eating lunch in my hospital room at St. Michael’s when David Tenszen, a tall, distinguished looking gentleman, walked into my room. Standing at the end of my bed, David looked at me with compassion in his eyes. His look told me he understood the hell I was going through. My father had told me about his coming visit and I knew I would have to sign a document. David handed me a pen. With my signature, David Tenszen of Thomson Rogers entered my life and proved to be a great support. From that day on he made me feel understood and respected. I was confident that David Tenszen and Thomson Rogers would represent and advocate for my rights.
The people who played a vital role in my recovery and my mission to start over were my family and the health care professionals at St. Michael’s Hospital and at Credit Valley Hospital.
My mother and father were important advocates for me and continue to be very understanding and supportive in my journey through brain damage.
My two younger brothers, Jonathan and Michael also play an important roll in my recovery.