About Me

Andrea Johnson

I am the survivor of 3 back to back traumatic brain injuries, and 2 severe accidents. In August 2015, I slammed my head on the corner of a dresser. At first it only stunned me, and hurt really bad. I thought it was just a simple bump on the head until a few days later when my words started to not make sense. I ended up in the emergency room with a diagnosis of Post Concussion syndrome. The doctor had me stay in a dark room for a month with no screens and limited stimulation. After that I could kind of tell there was a slight difference in my cognition but I pushed on.

In October 2016, I fell down 2 flights of stairs. I hit my head in the beginning and went down limp which is what saved my life. I have no idea how I fell, and no memory of the fall. The only thing I remember is opening my eyes and seeing a halo of light in the darkness, and hearing my daughter ask me if I was okay. Apparently I told her I was fine and drug myself back up the stairs and woke up in bed covered in bruises, rug burn, and could barely walk due to my left leg and ankle injury. I had a very difficult time explaining to the ER what had happened, and how many flights I fell down. They did a scan of my head and told me that I didn’t have a brain bleed, but I did have a concussion. I cracked my ribs, and tore all the muscles in my body and they never once did they gave me pain medicine. I went back the next day convinced my organs were ruptured and they told me I tore my abdominal muscles so they will hurt. To this day, that lack of empathy still deeply affects me. After this accident, I had some major decisions to make. I am a single mother and was living in Florida at the time. I had no one who could help me so as soon as I could walk, I moved back to Missouri to be close to family. My next plan was to get a job and when my insurance kicked in I would work on my injuries one by one.

In July 2017, I was shot in the head with part of a mortar firework in a freak accident. When the accident happened I was in shock and decided not to go to the hospital. I took a couple of days off of work before being sent to the hospital where I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. I attempted to push myself to try and go back to work for about a month before I was unable to function at all. I had to jump through hoops for this injury. When they put you on Medicaid in the state of Missouri, they set you up with resident doctors fresh out of school. I had way too complex of a case for this poor doctor. She saw blood in my ear and said it was due to me using Q-tips to rough. I said wouldn’t it be from the firework, and she said that wasn’t possible. I was way to confused to question much and she was absorbing my anxiety like a sponge. They then switched me to a male resident who declined giving me a neurologist or concussion doctor referral and put me on nortriptyline. That medicine made me so violently ill that it sent me to the ER with a headache I can only describe as pure fire. Next thing I know they’ve got me on 14 pharmaceutical medications and I gained close to 65 lbs over night. The severe head injury mixed with the full body injuries from there stairs were really taking a toll on my body and inflammation was being sent everywhere. At this point, I thought I was dying. I could barely communicate, sleep or eat. Days and nights were blending together 

   The picture on the left is a scan of my neck. The picture on the right is a normal MRI scan for comparison. You can see my neck bending in the opposite direction. This is from several whiplash injuries. (Car accident, stair fall)

When I fell down the two flights of stairs my left leg & ankle took a beating. When I saw the orthopedic doctor he told me if I had been conscious my leg would have been snapped in half. To this day I still have a scar due to my bruising being so severe. I had alot of contusions and I tore alot of my tendons and muscles. My right leg was fine. 

This was the side view of the two flights of stairs I fell down.

This is the top view of the stairs I fell down. I made the turn and went down the 2nd flight. I asked my neighbors if they heard a loud bang in the middle of the night and they said no. 

My body was covered in bruises and rug burn. I had never been in more pain in my entire life! The bruises in the pictures were all over my body.

My left ankle from the fall. Inflammation, pain and bruising was the biggest challenges I had  with this accident.

The Black dot in the picture to the left is the initial burn from the firework.


Over the next few weeks it became an open wound that was very painful and it looked gross.