TBI Rehab: The Courage to Come Back

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Six years ago, Michael Coss was at the top of the world. The salesman had just received a promotion, and purchased a dream house to live in with his wife and two children. He was a natural athlete, excelling at nearly any sport he tried including hockey, golf, baseball and soccer.

“I was on Cloud 9!” said Coss. “I was living life in the fast lane.”

Unfortunately, Coss’s former life came grinding to halt the morning of May 18, 2006 when, following an automobile accident, he ended up in a seven-month coma. When he awoke, he could move nothing except a single finger.

“The doctors said I would never speak, eat or walk again.” Coss said.

His family was told that Coss would spend the duration of his life as an invalid in an ICU unit. Eric Felder, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehab specialist who worked on Coss’s case wrote that Coss’s injury and disability were so severe that he would likely remain in a reduced mental and functional capacity.

But Coss, who has always possessed the spirit of a champion refused to give up. The willful spirit that once fueled his successes in athletics and business, he fully dedicated to his recovery.

“I was very competitive at sports. I’m always taking things to the next level.” He said.

His perseverance has paid off. Just last month, he completed 2.5 kilometers of the 10K Sun Run unaided except for a cane. But Coss’s transformative results have all been born from hard work.

“I had to relearn how to eat, to bathe, to dress myself,” stated Coss matter-of-factly, without an ounce of self-pity.”I’m learning how to walk [again] at 43.”

Coss’s biggest motivator is his children. “I want to be able to walk hand-in-hand to the park with my kids” he said of his 6-year-old twins Nathan and Danielle.

As an earnest believer in the power of TBI rehab, Micharl Coss formed the Michael Coss Brain Injury Foundation to help pay for hyperbaric chamber treatments for children with TBI. He also gives inspiring talks about his experiences and mentors others suffering with the effects of brain injuries. Coss also wrote and published a book entitled “The Courage to Come Back”, which he typed with a single finger.

When asked if he would change his past if given the chance he said that he would not.

“I think that I was put on this Earth to inspire others to be the best they can be in their own situation.”

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2 Responses to TBI Rehab: The Courage to Come Back

  1. Cathrine McCulloch June 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    What you see is what you get with Michael. His joy is real and so is his spirit that breathes life into dry bones. Without faith mountains cannot move. Michael’s faith is the reason his mountains have moved. His heart holds gentleness as a dove but his spirit fights for his life back. Michael is the meaning of his name. He is truly a Warrior! Some would go as far to say, ” he is an angel.” To look into Michael’s eyes, you see his spirit shine right through to the other side. The other side of this world’s negative voice that said,” he couldn’t walk again.” He chose to listen to God’s voice that said, ” You can do all things if you believe.” This is his motto. This is his strength. So maybe one day you too will see Michael taking a walk near your home town soon. Don’t forget to say to him, ” thank you Michael, for standing for those that cannot stand!!”

  2. Gerry Coss June 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    To whom it may concern,

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the medical community is completely out of touch with reality. Michael’s parents were told that Michael was going to be a vegetable all his life …that Hyperbaric treatments were not part of the ”standard treatment” regemin. How sick is our health system !!!

    Gerry Coss

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