Many Hartford, Connecticut, families may have relatives who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and are still in the process of recovering. These people see their family member continue to work hard and struggle to regain the physical and mental capabilities that they once took for granted. But, recovery from a TBI can be a life-long process, and unfortunately, some victims are unable to resume the activities that they once loved. But, one East Coast young resident has beaten the TBI odds and has once again taken up one of his favorite activities — bike riding. Nonetheless, even more amazing is that this young man has decided to bike across the country to raise awareness about TBIs.
Dan Mollino was a 26-years-old when he suffered a TBI. He was working for a cable company and was making repairs on a telephone pole when he slipped and fell almost 20 feet. A passing motorist called an ambulance, and Dan was taken to a special hospital. He was not expected to survive the night.
After an examination, doctors realized that Dan’s brain was swelling. They put him in a coma and decided to remove a portion of his skull to help relieve the pressure on Dan’s brain. Despite the long odds, the young man slowly began to get better.
After two years of intensive outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation, Mollino began to recover some of his motor and cognitive skills. He was able to walk again and speak, but doctors told him that he would never be able to ride a bike again. Unfortunately, as a result of his TBI, Dan was unable to maintain his balance. Nevertheless, the determined young man took up therapeutic horseback riding and after rigorous training recovered his balance and once again got back to his beloved bike.
Mollino was even more determined to raise awareness about TBIs and realized that a cross-country trip could do just that. He began his trip on April 6 and figures that it will take him 8-10 weeks to complete the cross country tour. And, while Dan still suffers some residual effects from his TBI, including double vision, hearing loss and memory loss, he does not even think about these symptoms very much. He wants to inspire all TBI victims to do their best.
Source: NJ.com, “N.J. man who suffered brain injury after 20-foot fall to bike across the US,” Jessica Mazzola, March 30, 2015.