Karen Mertes always jumps at the chance to inspire groups with her story. She recently spoke at South University in Tampa to the graduating class. Here is a snippet from the letter that Campus President James McCoy sent her —
“Your story of overcoming life’s challenges was an incredible message to our graduates, who will all face challenges/adversity in the years ahead. Additionally, your message was a source of inspiration to so many and provided a road map of how we all should promote ourselves.”
Karen R. Mertes turned a life altering tragedy into a life purpose with her organization, Fulfill Your Destiny. Karen is a Lieutenant Colonel (Ret) from our United States Air Force, serving as the Squadron Commander in two back-to-back command tours as well as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a $169 million dollar budget at an overseas base.
In 2007, Karen’s car was struck by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph on I-75 resulting in Karen suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Facing the consequences of this life-changing injury, this would be the genesis which led her to create Fulfill Your Destiny. Its signature program awards ‘Business Builder Grants’ to local entrepreneurs desiring to take their businesses to the next level.
Karen is a highly regarded Professional Speaker; Award Winning, Best Selling Author; Certified Entrepreneur, Leadership and Business Consultant all to benefit Fulfill Your Destiny. Karen is the creator of Fulfill Your Destiny’s annual premiere event, Spring Chari-Tea held each year in March.
Some people with TBI may have trouble concentrating or organizing their thoughts. If you are in a public area with many distractions, consider moving to a quiet or private location, and try focusing on short-term goals.
- Be prepared to repeat what you say, orally or in writing. Some people with TBI may have short-term memory deficits.
- If you are not sure whether the person understands you, offer assistance completing forms or understanding written instructions and provide extra time for decision-making. Wait for the individual to accept the offer of assistance; do not “over-assist” or be patronizing.
- Be patient, flexible and supportive. Take time to understand the individual, make sure the individual understands you and avoid interrupting the person.
When tragedy strikes, your adrenaline kicks in and you try to diagnose the situation. But what happens when someone you love is hurt but the injury isn’t transparent? Here are some ways to get your loved one the help they need —
In the presence of other life threatening injuries, which is often the case with motor vehicle accidents, closed head injury can be missed. The focus is on lifesaving measures.
Mild traumatic brain injury may not be diagnosed until the individual begins to have problems in what were once easy tasks or social situations.
A detailed neurological examination is important and will bring out evidence of brain injury.
Brain imaging with CAT scan, MRI, SPECT and PET scan may be useful.
Cognitive evaluation by a Neuropsychologist with formal neuropsychological testing.
Evaluations by physical, occupational and speech therapists help clarify the specific deficits of an individual.
Be very cautious when you come in contact with someone who has just been in an accident. Although your gut reaction may be to pick someone up, wait for EMS. Don’t try to self-diagnose leave that to the professionals so you can get yourself or your loved on the help they need.
For more information check out this website! http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/symptoms-of-tbi/diagnosis/
Need a book to better relate to your personal injury litigation attorney?! Jump on Amazon and add “Plaintiff 101” to your cart! Here are some words from Karen Mertes on her book,
“After my four year long litigation battle, my attorney husband and I decided to write, “Plaintiff 101” to help other personal injury victims. Being involved in a life-changing car accident is devastating. You deserve to get your life back to normal, yet the justice system is not an easy one to navigate. That’s what this book is for. To give you inside information and what your lawyer will want you to know in order to have a wining case.
Despite sustaining a traumatic brain injury from my accident, I am the founder and president of Fulfill Your Destiny, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to helping people whose careers have been altered by injury or other unforeseen circumstances. Inspiring stories of people who have been helped can be found at www.fulfillyourdestiny.org under the Who We’ve Helped tab.”
“Plaintiff 101” won #1 Amazon Best Seller Award at Richter Publishing’s 3rd Annual Author Award Ceremony & Book Gala on October 20th, 2016. Making “Plaintiff 101” a #1 Best Seller in audio, paperback & digital formats
The proceeds from the sale of this book are directly donated to Fulfill Your Destiny. We hope you find the information contained within these pages of our book very insightful. Please know that your donation for this book is used to help others through Fulfill Your Destiny.
With a three-day weekend in store for most, day drinking is prominent. Feeling invincible behind the wheel while intoxicated puts everyone at risk – those in the vehicle and others on the road. There’s no harm in drinking while celebrating but once you start to put other’s lives in danger, it becomes a serious problem. Even if you’ll be one of the designated drivers, it is detrimental to be aware of drunk drivers on the road with you. Here’s what to look for —
Law enforcement officials say there are several signs associated with drunk driving:
- Making wide turns
- Weaving, swerving, drifting, or straddling the center line
- Almost striking an object or vehicle
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Driving at a very slow speed
- Stopping without cause
- Braking erratically
- Responding slowly to traffic signals
- Turning abruptly or illegally
- Driving after dark with headlights off
Keeping these things in mind can help you avoid a dangerous situation. If you spot what you think is an impaired driver, keep a safe distance and call 9-1-1. Do not attempt to stop the vehicle yourself.
Drinking and driving usually occurs on holidays, weekends and evenings – but now that summer is here and we are near beaches, day drinking becomes another danger for those on and off the roads. College students are home for break and tourists begin to flock to the beaches. Day drinking is a common theme among beach goers – here are two serious dangers that you may encounter while day drinking in the sun.
Day drinking puts you at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated
Mixing alcohol with sun exposure will leads to a higher risk of becoming dehydrated which means sunburn, possible disorientation and lower tolerance of alcohol. Make sure when you’re day drinking to drink a glass of water after every alcoholic drink.
Operating a boat while intoxicated could be just as dangerous as drinking and driving
Heavy drinking can interfere with your balance, coordination and overall thought processes. In tragic news stories that involve boat crashes and people falling overboard and drowning, many of them have to do with alcohol consumption.
If you plan on day drinking on the beach, make sure you either have a sober ride home and/or a designated driver for your boat or jet ski. Whether its your vacation or just a day at the beach, alcohol is not to be taken lightly. Warn your teens, college students and friends about the dangers of mixing alcohol with the sun.