Grant Anderson, 24, Sarah Menary, 24, and Kyle Ford, 27, meet four years after sharing time at Victoria Hospital following car accidents which left them with traumatic brain injury and a long path to recovery.
Credits: (Mashoka Maimona, QMI Agency)
Grant Anderson, who was flown to London's Victoria Hospital after his van slammed into a transport truck, closing down Hwy. 402, was told his best case scenario was that he would be in a vegetative state for the remainder of his numbered days.
It was a knock reminiscent of a novel in which cops come upon parents praying for their son's safe return that fateful night on Aug. 23, 2007, when a late-night knock on their Bingham Farms, Mich., door turned Julie and Glen Anderson's lives upside down.
But on the fourth anniversary of the now 24-year-old Anderson's accident, his parents have a message for the skeptics.
"The brain is a magical thing. Those who suffer traumatic brain injuries can come out of it and live a good, hopeful life," said the resolute mother.
On the surface, her son looks like the recovery process is taking time, as Anderson struggles to lift his left arm in his wheelchair.
But the music composer and singer continues to swim, albeit with one arm, goes horseback riding as physiotherapy and uploads YouTube videos of his songs.
"It's all about repetition when it comes to brain injuries. "
Kyle Ford, 27, and Sarah Menary, 24, were sent to Victoria Hospital for brain injuries following separate car crashes, with Ford's car blowing a tire and hurling into a ditch near his Ridgetown home, and Menary's car colliding with an SUV southwest of Strathroy.
They got together recently, travelling from their respective hometowns of Ridgetown and Brantford, at a London restaurant to talk to Anderson - a man they had never previously met, but whom they shared the same air and roof space with for five agonizing days in August 2007 as they each fought for their lives in hospital.
"It's as if a piece of my heart has been put back in. This meeting has filled a gap for me," said Anderson, kissing the hands of both Ford and Menary as a loving greeting, two people with whom he shares a similar tale of struggling recovery after being on the brink of death.
Ford continues his rehabilitation three times a week at London's Parkwood Hospital and Menary struggles against daily headaches and fatigue.
"People didn't have faith in Grant's recovery, but I think it's really important to have that faith. There's always that opportunity for recovery with a bit of faith," his mother said.