Each month, Brain Buddies is featuring one of our incredible team member’s and their story of their TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) battle. This month, we’d like you to meet Vince Capriano and hear his story, told in his own words. Read more below:

My name is Vince, and I am 36 years old. My accident happened on May 3, 2016 at around 9pm when I decided to take a ride on my motorized bike to the convenient store. My bike had lights on the front and back, however, I failed to put on a helmet when I was in a sudden accident. I was found unconscious by a passer-by and was taken to the nearest hospital by ambulance. 


At the hospital, my parents were told that I had multiple skull fractures, bilateral subdural hematomas, bilateral frontal and parietal hemorrhagic contusions, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. The ER doctor was unsure how long I had been without oxygen, so my parents were told that I had sustained a non-survivable injury. That night, our Pastor and my 2 brothers came to the hospital so that I could be with family as my battle was thought to be coming to an end. However, the next morning, a neurosurgeon told my parents that he thought he could give me chance to live, but he would have to remove bi-lateral bone flaps from my skull to relieve the swelling of my brain. I had drains in my head, a trach, and PEG tube in my stomach. Even after the procedures, I developed C-Diff, pneumonia, and Rhabdomyolysis, and while in a medically induced coma, I was transferred to a higher level trauma ICU after I wasn’t improving.

After time and rest and the incredible care of my doctors and support of my family, I had finally started to improve and came out of the coma after 2 ½ week. I was moved to a long term acute hospital where I continued to heal, and the trach was removed. A few weeks later I went to a rehab hospital for 3 months to start PT, OT, and Speech Therapy. My bone flaps were replaced and a shunt was put in for hydrocephalus.This was still just the beginning of my long road to recovery. From the rehab hospital, I went to a sub-acute facility in Omaha for 3 months. I continued to work on walking, talking, eating, and other things we take for granted.

I came home to live with my parents to continue healing in December 2016. I started an outpatient rehab 3 days a week, 6 hours a day for 5 months. My feeding tube was removed in January, yay!, and I started walking and talking better each day and was finally able to eat solid foods again. I could officially shower independently with a shower chair and my neurosurgeon told me and my parents that I was a walking miracle.

I thought I was out of the woods, but began having seizures in May 2020, 4 years after my accident. After many tests and many different medications, the Epileptologist has found the right medications to control my seizures. I am 1 year and 10 months seizure free.
I belong to this awesome group of people called Brain Buddies, created for young adults to be able to gather and socialize and talk about their injuries and struggles. I like being with new friends that I feel I have something in common with. The social events allow me to be myself and have fun with everyone. I feel TBI awareness is important because a lot of people do not understand what is involved in our extensive recovery and life struggles. My advice to everyone with a brain injury is to never give up and NEVER LOSE HOPE!