It was a sunny day, and Miranda was riding her bicycle through her neighborhood as she normally did on Sunday mornings. That previous Friday had been Miranda’s thirteenth birthday, and she had invited 20 of her best friends over to spend the night at her house. Miranda was feeling happy as she rode her bicycle, and was thinking about the great memories that she had made with her friends just a few days before. What happened in the next moment would change her life forever.
Suddenly, Miranda heard the screeching brakes of a motor vehicle, and before she could turn her head to look in the direction of the noise, she was buffeted with an overwhelming force. Miranda flew for 30 feet in the air before she hit the ground, after which she slid for 20 more feet on the asphalt. The driver of the vehicle, who opened the car door in tears, had been distracted while texting and driving and hadn’t seen the girl on her bike before it was too late. The driver called 911, and soon Miranda was in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
As a result of the accident, Miranda sustained a basal skull fracture in addition to fractures in both her right tibia and fibula bones. The collision from the motor vehicle had caused enough impact to Miranda’s brain that she was bleeding in the frontal lobe. The extent of the brain damage led doctors to fear the worst in terms of long-term effects that the accident could potentially have on Miranda’s life.
As Miranda began to recover, she eventually returned to school, where she noticed a lot of the same friends that had been at her birthday party only a month before were distancing themselves from her. Miranda’s personality had changed after her accident. She was much more anxious and self-conscious, and found herself extremely nervous in social situations, unable to express herself to her peers. Because she believed her peculiar behavior would push her friends away, Miranda stopped interacting with them all together, choosing, instead, to sit alone in the back of the class room and generally keep to herself. Miranda also found it difficult to hold focus on her schoolwork and, as a result, her grades suffered significantly.
The effects that the traumatic accident had on Miranda’s health and self-esteem were devastating. In addition to the changes in her personality, Miranda’s brain damage resulted in the loss of her senses of taste and smell, as well as the onset of chronic migraines, which are almost always present. Additionally, the anxiety and depression that developed after the accident have never fully gone away. Miranda has learned to cope with her condition and tries her best to lead a normal life. Currently she works as a clerk in a bookstore where the mostly quiet atmosphere does not aggravate her migraines. The day that Miranda was hit by that car changed her life drastically, which is the case for so many others who have experienced traumatic brain injury.