Traumatic Brain Injury Survivor Launches TryMunity, a Social Site for Accident Victims
A local 27-year-old Dallas man, Mike Black, survives after being thrown from his car and landing 40-feet away on his head. Black was not expected to live after suffering the most severe brain injury possible in an accident. With a Glasgow coma scale of only three and a dim prognosis from doctors, his family had little hope.
The family formed a page on Facebook, “The Beans Recovery Group,” where friends and family could follow Black’s (“The Bean’s”) progress from coma, to his first meal to his first words and first steps. Eventually, others who had experienced similar traumas found the Facebook page and began sharing their own positive stories of recovery, giving hope to Black and his family.In search of answers, they turned to the internet to get information and peer support from others who have had a loved one experience a traumatic, life-changing tragedy or illness. The online search for information on their son’s condition offered quite a bit of technical information related to Black’s injuries, but no place to discuss their tragedy with someone who had experienced the same and learned ways to live through it and give them hope.
After Black’s insurance ran out, he was fortunate to be accepted into a scholarship program at Pate Rehabilitation in Anna, Texas. With the hard work and support of the Pate staff, Black is learning to do everything again. An avid Facebook user again, Black continually looked for more survivors like him, to share, learn, gain strength, hope, and find resources. He was discouraged that there was no ONE place for this kind of online social interaction. “That’s how TryMunity was born, where the motto is, “You Never fail Until You Stop TRYing!” says Bernadette Coleman, Black’s mother and biggest supporter.
The Pate Team working with Black is also excited about his recovery. “It is an incredible privilege to be a part of Mike’s recovery, which has been nothing short of miraculous,” said Dr. Mary Anise, the neuropsychologist overseeing Black’s treatment at Pate Rehabilitation. “His strength of spirit is unfailing. With the nurturing and support of his family, friends and online community through TryMunity.com, Mike has found the resolve to push himself through rigorous therapy, and he has seen great strides in his progress.”
While TryMunity is already available online to anyone who would like to join, the official launch of the site will take place at 1:30 on Monday, May 21 at Pate Rehabilitation Center in Anna, Texas, exactly one year after Black’s accident. Tom Coleman, Black’s stepfather, states, “Pate Rehabilitation has been so instrumental in Mike’s recovery, thus far, that we could not think of a better place to launch TryMunity. The site will allow Mike and other survivors to give back by sharing their positive stories of success with others going through similar circumstances.”
You can visit TryMunity at trymunity.com.