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Megan Embraces a Second Chance at Life After Brain Injury

August 09, 2021

Brain injury rehabilitation saved Megan Morris’ life in many ways.

Megan sitting in Craig gardens

Ever since being diagnosed with depression, attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder at age 7, Megan struggled with learning and feelings of inadequacy. By the time she was in her early 20s, Megan says she “felt like I was nothing.”

It was during this difficult time as a 24-year-old that Megan was accidentally shot in the head by an AR-15 that her boyfriend was handling. After stabilizing in the ICU in Colorado Springs, Colo., Megan came to Craig Hospital for brain injury rehabilitation and says that she had a complete emotional turnaround — that she was “reminded how special I am.”

On her very first day at Craig, Megan felt supported and valued by her care team. “I got to Craig and I was so scared,” Megan says. “And Kelly [Megan’s nurse] started talking to me — ‘how are you doing?’ — I can’t remember what Kelly was saying, but it made me calm and that I have a friend.”

Megan holding bouquet of flowers and sitting on Craig inpatient bed

Megan and her family now see the shooting as a second chance at life for Megan. The considerable challenges of learning to walk and talk again brought back Megan’s resilience and determination, and the non-judgmental and unwavering support from her care team brought back her spark.

“We got our kid back,” shares Megan’s mom, Shelly. “Megan received a lot of judgment and negativity growing up, but her care team saw that she has a big heart. They saw her possibility and got her believing that she could do anything.”

Megan discharged from Craig in December 2020 having progressed from only being able to say two words (“no” and “ok”) and not being able to move her right side to speaking in full sentences and walking out the front door. She had to return to the hospital in Colorado Springs for a final skull surgery, and according to her parents, the nurses were floored by her progress. For someone who had been given only a 20% chance of survival, Megan had achieved incredible outcomes.

Two photos - one of electrode therapy and one of Megan discharging

What’s next for Megan? She continues to improve her speech and comprehension with the Craig Hospital Aphasia Therapy (CHAT) program through the support of the Craig Foundation, and she hopes to go to nursing school so she can bring her personal experience to her work and help brain injury patients in the future.

“I know what it’s like being TBI,” Megan says. “I know what it’s like not to talk. I know what it’s like — the arm doesn’t work. I know what it’s like.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis, support is available. Reach the free, 24/7 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by starting an online text chat at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or calling the toll-free hotline at 800-273-8255.