Former Patient Gets Back in the Game After Rehabilitation for a Brain Injury
Less than a year ago, Brock Guynn, now 15, of Lakeland, Fla., sustained a traumatic brain injury, broken bones and a punctured lung in an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) accident. Today, his mother, Monica, might be the happiest mom to say: “He’s definitely back to being a teenager.”
She and her husband, Gary, are also happy to call their son, “an absolute miracle.” When Brock arrived at Shepherd Center five weeks after his injury, he was conscious but non-communicative – and in need of total assistance.
Brock’s family credits his physician, Anna Elmers, M.D., and Brock’s Shepherd Center treatment team for his rapid recovery. They also credit the endless stream of friends and family who visited. Recently, a friend from Brock’s church made a video (below) about Brock’s recovery, seen through the eyes of his support crew.
“I love watching it,” Brock says. “It shows what everyone went through. Everything went so fast to me because I was out of it for so long. But it was so helpful knowing I had people who would stay with me no matter what.”
Now, Brock is back to activities he much prefers doing with his friends. This past summer involved a lot of soccer, church camps and driving lessons. Now, Brock is back in school full time. “The first day back was awesome,” he says. “It felt like years that I hadn’t been there. Just being able to feel like a normal human being again.”
Brock’s parents have noticed differences in their son, post-injury. “He used to be more argumentative and strong-willed. Now, there’s a lot more joy coming from him,” Monica says. “He’s very funny and quick-witted. Seeing how he keeps healing is mind-boggling.”
Brock is focused on more changes to come. A soccer fanatic, his dream is to play college soccer and then join his favorite club, Chelsea, an elite professional soccer team in London. “You can see his injury didn’t affect his confidence,” his mom teases.
As for a backup plan: “Maybe becoming a physical therapist,” Brock says. “They can be really cool people.”
Written By Phillip Jordan
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 900 inpatients, 575 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year.