Donna Valentino

Member Testimonials

Donna Valentino Pic for WEBFive years ago, I suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in an ATV accident.  I was staying at Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Texas when the accident happened.  The manager of the resort hung an unmarked chain across a cattle guard.  I didn’t see it.  The ATV hit the chain and reared up throwing me off.  I landed on my back, and the ATV came down on my head.  I spent forty seven days in the ICU at Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, then three weeks at Baylor Rehab in Dallas, followed by six months at Center for Neuro Skills in Irving.  The injuries I have from this accident will be with me the rest of my life.  I have double vision, a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder, and nerve damage on my left side.  This damage on the left side leaves me with weakness in my shoulder and arm as well as the inability to grip with my left hand.

My rehab journey was long and frustrating. Insurance capped it at $1,500, even though I clearly needed much more. While on vacation in Telluride, Colorado, a trainer there recommended Everett Aaberg at TELOS Fitness Center. What a great recommendation! I started working with Everett in September, 2012. He has been working with me once a week addressing all the physical issues the accident may have caused, but might have been there before it. Everett assigned Tyler to train with me three times a week. My workout routine strengthens all my weak areas. As a result of the positive energy Everett and Tyler possess, I have made great strides in my recovery. Just this past week, I am now feeling the lat muscle and tricep on my left side! This is huge, as I have not been able to feel anything on the left side. Working with Everett and Tyler make the rehab recovery fun. The recovery is slow, but it is there. Every little gain is a big victory. I wanted to share my story with others who go through a similar journey. I wrote a book called Headstrong: Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury Without Losing My Mind. Through my publisher, I have talked with other outpatients at a few TBI Support Groups. It means a lot to me to help others. It is my way of giving back.