Hello. I recently joined the community. My name is Craig J. Phillips. On the night of August 11, 1967 my dad, mom, brother and myself were
in an automobile accident that forever changed our lives. Per my
injuries, when the Cadillac hit our Volkswagen Beetle I was catapulted
from the back seat. In the process of being thrown forward I fractured
my left femur (thigh bone) on my dad’s bucket seat and then made direct
contact with the inside of the windshield. Consequently, I sustained an
open skull fracture. I remained in a coma for 3 weeks and in traction to
set my left femur for 6-7 weeks.
When my skull was fractured my right frontal lobe — location of the
brain that controls executive center function — absorbed the initial
brunt of the contact where my skull was fractured. Additionally, I
sustained a severe brain contusion as my brain was jostled about inside
my skull — coup contra coup. From the records I found out that my
brain stem — attention, arousal, and consciousness, as well as being the
gateway of brain function for the body — had also been affected
subsequent to my skull being fractured and my brain moving around inside
Once I regained consciousness, completed traction to set my left
femur, and placed in a Spica — full body cast — I was transferred to
another hospital where I under went brain and skull surgery. Following
surgery I was transferred back to the first hospital. Several weeks
later I was released from the hospital and taken home. I remained in the
Spica cast for 4-5 months.
After being taken out of the cast I attended several physical therapy
appointments and I was then released into the care of my parents.
Because neurological rehabilitation was not available in 1967 I was
essentially on my own — to re-teach myself how to walk, talk, read,
write and speak in complete sentences. I taught myself how to walk,
talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences with the
encouragement of my family.
In follow-up to my brain and skull surgery and after re-learning how
to walk I underwent several EEG’s completed to determine the extent of
the injury to my brain. In conjunction with the EEG’s I was given a
battery of cognitive and psycho social tests to determine how the
injury to my brain impacted my cognitive and psycho social skills.
The results from the EEG’s and these tests were shared with my
parents, however my parents elected not to share the results with me.
Years later — after completing graduate school — my Mom revealed the
results of the EEG’s and tests that were completed in 1968. My Mom
shared with me that the results from the EEG’s and the cognitive and
psycho social tests indicated that I would probably not be able to
succeed beyond high school academically.
Although the data and scientific findings predicted that I would be
probably be unable to succeed academically beyond high school, I went
on to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Due to the invisible and unknown nature of my disability and because I
was able to achieve far beyond all reasonable expectations I continued
to remain in denial concerning the impact of the injuries to my brain —
for approximately 36 years post injury. Nevertheless, my life was
adversely impacted by the effects of my brain injury both personally and
Because of the invisible nature of my disability and my lack of
awareness I had to develop strategies to compensate for my deficits and
limitations — which I internalized as a reflection of who I was as a
person — to empower my life. On February 6, 2007 — at the encouragement
of a friend — I created Second Chance
to Live to share the principles and strategies that I have
used to encourage, motivate and empower my process.
These strategies have helped me to succeed beyond all reasonable
expectations — when giving in and giving up would have been so much
easier. Please see my Service page.
My hope is that as you read through the articles that I have written
and published on Second Chance to Live you will be inspired to pursue
hope. The applications presented with in the articles that I have
written for Second Chance to Live illustrate and provide practical
solutions for living life on life’s terms. The articles have been
designed to encourage, to motivate and to empower the individual to live
If you have any questions / concerns or I may be of service to you,
please do not hesitate to contact me. All questions are good questions.
You may do so by using my Contact
I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for your time.
Have a pleasant day.