I am glad I found you!

by ROAD iD Staff May 18, 2021

Road ID can be an immediate path to access, that can provide reassurance and information to friends and family in case you can't. In living, live with the reassurance that at any given moment in time someone will always know who you are.

Not long ago, I was training for a triathlon, through wine country on my road bike when the tire of a passing car kicked a piece of wood into the spokes of my front wheel. I was going @ 23 mph. I went head first over the handlebars, with no time to bring my hands forward to break the fall. Witnesses say I landed hard on the right side of my head. I struck the ground with such force that I snapped my shoulder in half. I immediately went comatose and stayed that way, placed on life support, with no family contacted. California Highway Patrol was at a loss as to who I was. It is hard to believe, but it took them 24 hours to find ID inside my helmet. This delay would never have happened if I had been wearing a Road ID.

My first awake moment was when I found out I had a sister in Washington DC. Waking up, and cognitively waking up, returning to right here - right now, is a journey. It's called Post Coma Hell, "Who are you and what is your name?" I have been told coma recovery is 1-7 years. As I push my physical envelope, I want people to know that I am not waiting 7 years to get "permission" to succeed.

Prior to this, I operated boats off shore, surfed, completed triathlons; scuba dived, snorkeled and cycled. In one moment in time all this changed into a personal movie that I did not know I would star in.

Brain stem damage meant I had to be taught how to breathe (or reminded to breathe), walk, talk, eat and how to make a sandwich again for my memory "reservoir" was injured. This also meant I had no prior memory of anything; friends, parents, sister or pets. I had no idea one comes with parents or that the "little people" were kids or I had a name, birth date, or Social Security #. I say this so the community is aware and knows the best thing you can offer is unconditional acceptance and friendship.

Currently, I am striving to get my license back to operate boats offshore and do the underwater photography that I love and enjoy. The people whom I have met during my recovery gave me the nickname, "Battleship". How fantastic, with all my wounds and injuries to still be seen as moving energy, I am all smiles.

- Kristin Joy .W from Goleta, CA