- Associated Press - Sunday, August 16, 2015

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - When Camron Brummond opened his eyes, he saw two-headed people surrounding the bed he was lying on.

Startled by the bizarre scene, he started thinking the worst. He had no recollection of where he was and he could barely move, the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1WjFA2a ) reported.

“Am I in hell?” he asked the mysterious two-headed beings.

But this wasn’t hell. The now 26-year-old Brummond was waking up from a coma for the first time in seven weeks and had a serious head trauma injury that temporarily caused an extreme case of double vision.

The accident happened on June 15, 2008, in rural Nebraska. Brummond was driving to church on a Sunday morning when the back tire of his truck fell off for an unknown reason. His truck rolled over four times and he was ejected 40 feet.

He had a dislocated rib, a punctured lung, a punctured spleen, and worst of all, the traumatic brain injury - all of which stopped the recent Bancroft-Rosalie High School graduate in his tracks.

What followed was months of pain, frustration and disappointment. Doctors didn’t give him much hope once he woke up from the coma.

“(My) brain injury was so severe (doctors) were predicting I will not walk, talk or function normally beyond a level of a second-grader,” Brummond said.

His mother, Jolene Brummond, remembered it being a dark time for her son.

“It was terrible at first,” Jolene Brummond said. “You have dreams for your children, they have dreams (for themselves), and then something like that happens and it’s surreal. Your world shatters.”

But Camron was determined to rebound. At Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, he relearned how to talk, brush his teeth, carry a normal conversation, tie his shoes and dress himself.

“You name it - I had to relearn it. It was like the beginning stages of my life again,” Camron said.

By the time he left Madonna and transferred to Quality Living Inc. in Omaha, he was ready to learn how to walk again even though doctors continued to remind him that he’d probably never walk.

“That was kind of disheartening to me,” Camron remembered.

It would be eight months before he’d walk on his own after months of strengthening his core. When he was ready, he walked his wheelchair into the physical therapy department and left it there for good.

“You should have seen the look on their faces,” Camron said. ‘They said, ‘What are you doing? Take your wheelchair with you.’”

Since being at the rehabilitation centers, he’s been busy. He will be graduating shortly from Wayne State College with a degree in exercise science.

Currently he’s an intern at the Norm Waitt Sr. YMCA in South Sioux City, where he assists in exercise classes for people with multiple sclerosis, people with Parkinson’s disease and the elderly.

For his free time he prefers to work out. Each day he gets up at 5 a.m., and after reading the Bible he begins a workout, which includes 200 sit-ups and 200 push-ups.

Although he’s made great strides in his recovery, he still has many challenges. He still can’t drive, which makes his life very difficult at times, and he speaks much slower than he used to.

But he’s not bitter about his current struggles, his mom says.

“You’re not going to tell him he can’t do something because he’s going to show you that he can. He’s got tremendous faith,” Jolene Brummond said. “He’s a pretty happy kid most of the time.”

Camron Brummond says he owes his recovery and new life to God. He used to party and drink frequently. But his party days are behind him, and despite suffering after the accident, he is happy and enjoying life.

“I’m a man who lost everything and I’m trying to regain absolutely everything back. I could not do that at all on my own strength. Jesus Christ had to give me the power and the strength,” Brummond said.

He’s not exactly sure what his next job will be, but he would like to help rehabilitate people suffering from injuries or diseases. He loves to tell others about his recovery.

“I just want to give back to society. I want to help other people. I just want to tell the people that this is where I was and this is where I am now. And it’s all thanks to God.”


Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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