Tag Archives: TBI victims

Over A Decade Has Passed Since Her Nearly Fatal Accident – A Look Into Karen Mertes’ Triumph Over Her TBI

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Mertes knows what it’s like to have your life suddenly altered. On Feb. 7, 2007, her life’s path was forever changed. Stationed at MacDill Air Force Base at the time, she was struck by a drunk driver who was traveling over 100 miles per hour on I-75. He had a blood alcohol level of .221, nearly three times the legal limit. During the crash, “I made a futile attempt to regain control of my vehicle as my car slid sideways down the interstate, with cars in the remaining lanes veering around my car to avoid hitting me. As my life hung in the balance, I made a bargain with God. I promised God that if I were blessed to live, I’d spend the rest of my life helping others. This promise was the genesis of my nonprofit Fulfill Your Destiny.”

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Mertes suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the accident. But she is more than a survivor. She has turned tragedy into triumph, helping others who have had their world shattered pick up the pieces.

Through Fulfill Your Destiny, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, Lt. Col. Mertes financially aids people in the Tampa Bay community whose careers have been altered by injury or unforeseen circumstances. Special consideration is given to those who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.

“Imagine if you could no longer do what you are trained and experienced to do today.  What if everything you have worked for educationally and professionally was gone in an instant? This is my story. Following my injury and treatment, it became apparent I could no longer perform the work required of a military officer with a Top Secret clearance.”


plaintiff-101-cover-audioGrab your copy of her Amazon Best Seller, Plaintiff 101, here!

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3 Ways a DUI Will Destroy Your Career

As if driving under the influence and the chance to injuring or taking a life other than your own isn’t enough to stop you from drinking and driving – here are 3 ways a DUI can destroy or damage your career:

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  1. Suspended license: If your license is suspended and you don’t get an exemption for driving to/from work then you’re forced to take public transportation. Taking the bus is pretty unreliable and you may end up losing your job due to lateness.
  2. Mandatory firing policy: Many employers provide in handbooks and employment contracts that conviction of a crime is grounds for firing. If your employer has that policy, you may lose your job.
  3. Job applications: While some states don’t allow employers to ask about arrests and convictions on job applications, most do. Your DUI will appear in public records and on your driver’s license records.

    For those who are interested in owning Amazon’s Best Seller, “Plaintiff 101” as a valuable resource:

    Click here to >>ORDER<< your copy TODAY!

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Social Experiment – Teens and Drunk Drivers

On average, a drunk driver will drive 80 times under the influence before their first arrest. Think about how many times you’ve ridden with a diver who maybe had one drinks too many – and that’s an adult. Teens and young adults don’t know their limit, prone to binge drinking. Your child, maybe even college student, is faced with the decision to ride with someone who has been drinking more often than you would hope.

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In this video, we witness american teenagers who are about to drink and drive while others are tested in their ability to say no or get in the car with them –
Millions have died due to drunk drivers believing they have it under control behind the wheel after they’ve had too much to drink. Don’t ride with or let a friend drive drunk.

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How Students Can Help with TBI Victims While going to School

In an article on Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, “The Impact of a Recent TBI on Family Members and What They Can Do To Help With Recovery,” Thomas Novack, PhD writes about how families can help loved ones during recovery and learning roles in the process.

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With college starting this coming week, what is known as a happy and loving time may be a little shakier when having a family member who is suffering from a TBI. What can you do to make them more comfortable and help out in the recovery process while you’re focusing on school?

  • Recognize stressful situations and cope with them – don’t avoid them.
  • Learn to relax.
  • Learn coping strategies (regular schedules, take breaks, maintain sense of humor)
  • Provide structure for the victim.
  • Provide support in a respectful way.
  • Make time for yourself, and have a helper.

Use this distance to realize that this is a time to be thankful for those around you, be thankful that your family member is a survivor and is gradually getting better, be thankful for the love that is around you and for your health. Understand that you’re just one person. Don’t make yourself feel as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Don’t feel weak for asking for help.

Check out the entire article here.


For those who are interested in owning Amazon’s Best Seller, “Plaintiff 101” as a valuable resource:

Click here to >>ORDER<< your copy TODAY!

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Kind Words for Karen Mertes from MADD

Recently, Karen received a hand-written thank you note from the point of contact at Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that she has been working with —
“Thank you for sharing your story with us.  Your determination and drive are really inspiring.  You have touched many lives, including mine.  I know that your story changes people and will continue to help us fulfill our mission of working towards 0 victims.
Regards,
Viridiana Medellin, National Victim Services Specialist, Mothers Against Drunk Driving”
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Karen shares her story to inspire others that there is hope after tragedy. Check out Karen’s entire spotlight with MADD here.

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The Responsible Driving Campaign (RDC) – Karen Mertes Spotlight

The Responsible Driving Campaign (RDC) will continue to focus on informing/reinforcing El Paso Sector Employee’s responsibility while operating a vehicle.
Voices of Victims: Air Force Service Member Karen Mertes
By MADD July 5, 2017
 Victim Stories
Karen, a Lieutenant Colonel serving in the United States Air Force, was driving the speed limit on the interstate when she was struck from behind by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph. The axle in Karen’s car snapped in half, and her vehicle’s undercarriage dragged creating sparks on the interstate for several hundreds of feet.Karen survived the crash but sustained multiple brain bleeds and was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Her memory, cognitive functioning, and personality were all impacted. Karen remembers looking at herself in the mirror and no longer recognizing who she was.
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M. (n.d.). Voices of Victims: Air Force Service Member Karen Mertes.
A DUI is extremely costly. It is putting your life and the community we swore to protect at risk.
 
·       Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash
·       On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime
·       Every day in America, another 27 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes
 
Call a ride, have a plan;  it is a mistake that cannot be undone.  

 

The RDC is for you, your family’s and community’s safety.

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MADD Spotlight – Voices of Victims: Air Force Service Member Karen Mertes

Last week, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), wrote a spotlight on drunk driver victim, Karen Mertes, and told her story of recovery and triumph after her accident.

Here is a snippet of the MAAD spotlight of Karen Mertes —

“February 7, 2007 was the day that forever changed Karen Mertes’ life path. Karen, a Lieutenant Colonel serving in the United States Air Force, was driving the speed limit on the interstate when she was struck from behind by a drunk driver traveling over 100 mph.

He had a blood alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit and the crash resulted in both vehicles being totaled. The axle in Karen’s car snapped in half, and her vehicle’s undercarriage dragged creating sparks on the interstate for several hundreds of feet.”

Read the rest of Karen’s MADD spotlight here!

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