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Outlook is Everything for Chris

By Lissa Miles

Forgiving himself for past mistakes empowered CONNECT resident Chris to move on and begin to own his rehab process.

Chris was a successful business owner, an avid fisherman, and a social, hard-working, fun-loving guy. Everything changed for him in 2005 when a motocross accident in Salmon Arm left him with a brain injury and in a coma for seven months with 22 fractured bones.

His road to recovery has been long and hard, especially because of the anger and resentment he was holding onto.

"It's hard to describe what I've been through," said Chris, who now gets to the gym a few times a week, loves the Canucks, and enjoys time with his brother and nephew as often as possible. "It wasn't until I was able to let go of my anger and resentment and forgive myself and forgive what happened to me that I actually started seeing progress in my rehab."

When he thinks about his accident and tries to reason with what happened, he said you can't because that moment in time is part of you. You can't escape it or run from it. You have to acknowledge it and then move on.

He said there have been milestones in his rehab that have given him the strength to press on.

"Learning to walk again, learning to go to the bathroom on my own, these were huge things to achieve. I realize it's all part of life and all part of the accident to have to start over with these things we take for granted. But now that I can do these things, I have the strength to press on and see what I can accomplish next."

Chris' advice to others struggling with a brain injury is to focus on the future, not the past.

"Try to forgive yourself or forgive life. Keep the past in the past so you can move forward and find happiness."