Shortly after her 17th birthday, Heather was involved in a serious car accident that left her in a prolonged coma. “The doctors originally told my parents I was going to be in a coma until my 30s,” Heather explains. Although Heather made an astounding recovery, it wasn’t without challenges. She returned to her hometown to “finish high school, get married and have one daughter, Glory Anne Grace”, but had a difficult time adjusting to daily life.

“When I lived in Battle Creek I was struggling,” says Heather. “I went to the YMCA for water therapy and church. That was it. Everything changed when I came to Community Connections for Independent Living. It’s a whole lot better than when I lived in Battle Creek”.

Heather was introduced to Community Connections by her case manager. Heather was familiar with other programs supportive of traumatic brain injury, but she was enlightened to learn that Community Connections willingly accepted the children of their residents. “Other programs wouldn’t allow for her to stay with me and being separated wasn’t an option,” explains Heather.

As a resident of Community Connections, Heather participates in the many social and volunteer opportunities that are available, including Women’s Group, Community Connections newsletter, and CC Cares. “It really feels like a family,” says Heather, “I love that there are people here to help me. In Battle Creek I had nothing; I had the cab service and nothing else. Life is so much more enjoyable here.”

Heather embraces her interests and enjoys water therapy, painting and sculpting lessons at Paint A Miracle, and practicing and sharing her faith with others. “I love listening to Christian music,” she says. Heather’s active schedule also includes occupational therapy, doctor’s appointments, and daily housework. “I like to stay busy,” says Heather, “It makes me feel really good that I have support here and I have friends here.”

Heather’s enthusiasm for life continues to motivate her to achieve her goals. “I want to continue to become a stronger me and to continue to keep up with my all my programs. Ultimately, I want to be the best me I can be.”