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Working Together, Not Alone

I'm Like You
by Jose Nuñez

People like us,
We have no need to be last on the bus.
We may seem different to you,
But our heart’s like yours, ain’t that true.
When you see me in front or back or around,
Just remember, I’m like you and I’m standing on the same ground.

Connect/Support Photo

We all have ways to work through problems in our life. For Jose Nuñez, the outlet is poetry.

Nuñez didn’t always have a traumatic brain injury (TBI). At age 27, he woke up in the hospital with a ruptured brain aneurism. After a year of relentless headaches, fatigue, depression, short-term memory loss and blindness in his left eye, Nuñez received the news that these side effects of his brain injury were permanent.

Despite this bleak prognosis, Nuñez was determined to keep up his spirits and those of the people around him. He began receiving service coordination from Epilepsy-Pralid Inc. staff member Donna Masters. Masters knew Nuñez needed more than just poetry as an outlet and worked with him to identify other activities that matched his personality and would help him achieve his goal to remain positive.

Now, in addition to writing poetry, Nuñez facilitates a TBI support group. Remembering how alone he felt when he first had to grapple with the realities of his own TBI, Nuñez helps others as they struggle to accept their brain injuries. Nuñez recalled, “It took me about three years to realize that I can’t change it and accept it.” Reflecting on his support group, Nuñez said, “I can see people grow and relax, grow and accept their TBIs... We are working together, not alone.”

Jose’s wife Rose spoke of noticeable improvements in her husband and happily announced, “He now stops and listens.” This was a particularly significant statement, as the couple had just finished discussing a time when Jose was blaming others, including Rose, for his forgetful behaviors.

Nuñez agreed to share this story with you, so you can see the inspiring people who rebuild their lives with the able assistance of our staff and with your generous support.