A Houston-area (Texas, USA) teenager was soaring in high school, taking college courses, making great grades, excelling in sports and band, when the unthinkable happened.
15-year-old Torianto “Junior” Brinson was thrown from a car during a car crash. The vehicle Junior was riding in is a complete loss.
“One minute after it happened, my daughter called me, and she was hysterical. ‘Mom, you need to get here now.’ So, they were literally around the corner from the house. So, we drove on the street. Had to get out of the car, run, and saw him lying there,” explains Junior’s mom, La’Kisha.
The accident in Missouri City ended up claiming Junior’s life…
“There were four emergency services working on him, and he wasn’t responding, he wasn’t breathing, he wasn’t moving, he was just lying there,” explains La’Kisha.
Junior was rushed by Life Flight to the Texas Medical Center, where the situation grew even more grim.
“They told us that he was gone, there was nothing they could do, and I remember asking them, ‘You’re just going to let my baby just sit here?’ and they were like, ‘There’s nothing they can do,'” says an emotional La’Kisha.
That’s when she asked family to pray, and she started praying over her son’s lifeless body. She begged him to come back.
“I was holding his hand and I prayed and told him, ‘Junior, I need you!’ A minute later, I saw his hand move,” exclaims La’Kisha! That movement allowed him to be whisked away for emergency surgery for his traumatic brain injury.
Junior spent several months in semi coma at Memorial Hermann. Finally, the family’s dream come true: he made just enough progress to be transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann.
“He was still having trouble moving around in bed consistently. Getting up and walking was very difficult. It required two people to help him,” says physical therapist Dr. Liz Larkin with TIRR Memorial Hermann. “He also struggled – and it’s pretty common after an injury like his traumatic brain injury – to have noticed changes in behavior, which we expected. It actually is a good sign! It means he’s getting better, but moments of difficulty regulating impulses.”
Junior’s brain was so severely injured, they had to monitor his stimulation.
“So, the amount of sound and noise and light and things like that, to give him the best opportunity for success,” explains Dr. Larkin.
After working with Junior week-after-week at TIRR, she loves seeing how far he has come and is getting to play basketball with him again.