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Former Patient Rediscovers His Passion After Injury

Former Patient Rediscovers His Passion After Injury

Former Patient Rediscovers His Passion After Injury

Tom Roberts never thought he would return to a normal life after suffering a traumatic brain injury thirty years ago. In 1993, 25-year-old Tom had graduated college, married his wife, Deana, and was working as a mechanical draftsman. But on May 30, Tom fell from a horse while roping calves and hit his head. He was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was intubated and remained in a coma for 19 days. The fall had caused a right cerebellar bleed and a traumatic brain injury.

Tom awoke in a state of confusion – all he wanted to do was go home

Tom and Deana had little knowledge about brain injury at the time, not knowing how this would affect his life in the long term. They soon discovered that Tom’s short-term memory had been severely impacted, unable to recall some details or recent conversations. Tom spent three months in the hospital with his wife by his side.

“It was hard and confusing, especially since it was all inside my head where nobody can see your injury,” said Tom. 

In August 1993, Tom was admitted to the Centre for Neuro Skills Dallas residential inpatient program. Tom lived in CNS residential apartments, where he received care 24 hours a day, and participated in daily therapy sessions at the clinic for six hours each day. CNS residential program allows patients to regain independence by applying the tools learned at the clinic in a home-like environment.

CNS therapists worked closely together to create an individualized treatment plan for Tom, who initially struggled to understand his injury and wanted to quickly return to work. Through counseling, Tom was able to better understand his emotions about the injury and fully engage in other areas of therapy.

Tom's speech therapists inspired him to start a journal, which helped improve his memory. The occupational therapy team worked closely together to create a drafting table for Tom, to simulate his work tasks.

Through CNS’ therapeutic rehabilitation, Tom relearned core skills of daily living that allowed him to achieve an amazing recovery and successfully return to work full-time. Tom says the encouragement from CNS therapists and the support of his wife pushed him to achieve each milestone.

CNS Patient, Tom RobertsToday, Tom works at an architecture firm as a draftsman

Tom is proud to continue his lifelong career as a draftsman. But Tom’s greatest achievement after his discharge is regaining his love and passion for sculpting that he had as a child. In 2005, Tom fell in love with bronze sculpting after reconnecting with a friend. Together, Tom and Deana display their creations at several art shows and have won many awards for their art pieces. Tom’s life-size butter sculptures have been on display at the State Fair of Texas in recent years. Tom is grateful for CNS therapists and his wife for supporting him throughout his recovery journey and encouraging him to follow his passion.