“The first was when I was 9-years-old and was hit with a baseball bat. There was even one brain injury that was so bad that I woke up in the morgue because doctors thought I was dead,” he said. “I’m like humpty dumpty … been put back together so many times.”
Thankfully, Damon has survived all of his injuries and found Goodwill’s Brain Injury Case Management program. In the program he has learned to turn what he calls the “maze of life” into a simple path.
“It took a long time for me to come around and stop being in denial about my injuries and the affects,” he said. “With my case manager’s help and the help of friends, I was able to stop myself from being really scattered. I focused and got the help I needed”
Though Damon is now the picture of “inspiration,” he didn’t start out that way when he came to Goodwill.
“I was experiencing depression and even contemplated suicide,” Damon said. “But my case manager was persistent and taught me that it’s okay to accept help when I need it.”
With strong support from his case manager, Damon has continued to open up, seek more help, meet new people and even practice the art of glasswork.
“I use my bus pass all the time now and learned all I could about the transportation system in Albuquerque.” He said. “I’ve been able to get my independence back and really take my glass art to a new level. When I’m doing glasswork, I’m at my most Zhen.”
Damon has learned so much in the program, including how helping others can help him continue to fight the affects of his injuries and give him new purpose.
“Because of Goodwill, I’m proud I’m still alive and can help others who are experiencing the same side effects from a traumatic brain injury.”
For more information of this story, contact Melissa Perez