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Tim Vern (aka Coach)

I was introduced to Coach through therapists at Collage Rehabilitation Partners. As you read his story, you'll hear how much a medical emergency has changed and continues changing his life.


Tell me about your background (job, community service, kiddos, family, where you're from, etc)


I am originally from the Gulf Coast, what they call Freeport TX, Surfside Beach. I come from a family rich in family values, middle-to-lower class - everyone in the family worked for a living. I was a motivated kid in school, I took my books very seriously. From there they got me involved in athletics as a youngster. From there I had the opportunity to go to TX Lutheran for football and baseball. I earned a degree in education. I started in Brazos Port ISD coaching and teaching; starting at middle/ junior high and moved up to high school. I taught for 16 years before moving into administration (principal) for 17 years. I got my master’s in education administration from St. Thomas University in Houston in 1994.


I had a family, two kids, one boy and one girl, Matt and Natalie. I was married for 33 years before getting a divorce.


I’ve ended up in Weatherford after first having a heart attack (quadruple bypass) before having a severe stroke. I am still going through rehabilitation at home. I came to Weatherford where my daughter lives; I live independently in an active adult community. I am currently learning how to integrate into the community by volunteering. I was taught how to volunteer by coaches early in life by helping take care of those in need in my community - it’s about the gift of giving; I was surrounded by those types of people from an early age. I realize now after going through what I’ve gone through the importance of having a good support system. I enjoy making things for others, including baking cookies and building things.


My son, his wife, and their two kids, Landyn and Mason also live nearby in Fort Worth. I’m enjoying this new part of my life and meeting new people.


I do have a purpose - I coded four times, and I’m still here, so I’m working to discover and live out my purpose.


I have to applaud everyone who has worked with me throughout this journey in their decision making in my medical decisions, rehab placement, and bringing me to where I am meant to be.


I was a two-pack a day guy and struggled with drinking but have conquered it and realize that it led to my issues. I’m now working to take other things out of my diet with the help of my dietician including less caffeine, sodium, and unclean foods.


When was your stroke or brain injury?


January 4th, 2023. I had a heart attack and heart surgery first in Houston, and at some point during recovery or post-op they realized I had also had a stroke.


What caused your stroke or brain injury?


My bad habits ultimately led me to my medical issues, but the surgery was likely the cause of the stroke at that time.


Where in your brain was your stroke or brain injury?


It was on the right side, which is why it affected the left side of my body.


What injuries did you have as a result of the stroke/brain injury?


I have cognitive and mobility issues that have improved with therapy. Cardiovascular issues are getting better, and my endurance is improving with therapy. Memory issues are improving.


 Emotions are improving with therapy and medication.


How are you working to get stronger?


Learning to work and exercise the brain - repeating things. 

Talking to other people about what I’m going through, especially people who have also been through it. Reviewing my therapy sessions, notes, and strategies.


Keeping myself active is how I am getting stronger, right or wrong. Communicating with others.


Caring about myself spiritually. My walk to Emmaus (8 years ago); I used to have prayers, but now I have conversations with God. I like visiting with Mike and the guys in the men’s brain injury support group.


What are your current interests? (are you still working?, what are current interests, etc)


I am not currently working; I am classified as disabled. I am working to get better and get new tools.

I wouldn’t be here if it was not for my family. I enjoy spending time with them; just being with them and sharing time with each other. Quality time with family and laughing.


I still like hunting and fishing. I am a big outdoors guy; I love the outdoors.


I am learning how to cook. I have always known how to cook on pits and grills, but I’m learning how to bake and cook things inside. I have enjoyed baking cookies for neighbors. It has helped replace my lack of a garage workshop but still allows me to do things for other people, and they have let me know they like it and appreciate it!


I now volunteer at the Senior Center – it is a time to meet other people who I may not have ever known and it is my opportunity to make them smile and help them have a good day. I feel like it gives me the opportunity to help people feel like they belong and are worthwhile.


What about your stroke or brain injury has inspired you or others?


 I’ve been given a gift, a gift of life. With everyone’s efforts and gifts, I’ve been given the gift of love. God forbid I have another stroke or heart attack, but I’m trying to make every moment count and enjoy being with people. I’m used to being in the driver’s seat, but now I’m sitting in the backseat - you can see so many things from the backseat that you can share with others. Slowing down to smell the roses, taking time to look at all of the beautiful things the world has to offer. I’m trying to beautify our world - I’m planting flowers. If we take care of our world and the people in it, we have a beautiful place to be. Hunting taught me a lot about patience and making your steps and choices purposeful.


What have I learned as a result of my injury?


In the beginning for your family, it’s fear. And they too must overcome things as well. They have had to overcome the fears just like a person who has had a stroke and heart attack. And now they know it’s okay to come see me, take me to do things, bring the kids around. The person who has the injury doesn’t really think about all of that because in the beginning it’s just me, me, me, I, I, I. The focus is on the self, and you forget that there are people who are living it with you.


I’ve always had a relationship with God, but I’ve become closer to God as a result of my injury. I know now that one of my purposes, after being given, another shot at life, is to witness for Him to other people.


Learning to accept treatment and therapy from those who are the experts in working with brain injury is the first step to recovery.

 

Such a beautiful story of how a medical event in certain ways can be looked at as a blessing to make you revaluate your life. I want to thank Coach for sharing his story and spreading the message of faith in God to others!




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Hi Tim, it's Coach Dubose and Shirley. Enjoyed reading your story and we are so sorry you have been through such serious medical issues. You are blessed and there must be a plan for you. So glad you can share your stories with others and you all can bring brighter days to each other. We wish you the best and hope about you again.

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Tim this is Tina Levee. God bless you Tim. I am sorry to hear of your struggles but happy to Hear you are still with us! I will put you in my prayers and know that God must have a plan.

He has been here for me so many times. I am grateful and humbled. My family is my everything and yours sound amazing. I wish you every blessing! God bless! 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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