'I’m just thankful I’m alive': Harrow woman ready to return home after ATV crash
Jessica Brown has lost her memory and the use of her legs, but the long road to recovery for the Harrow woman critically injured in an ATV crash this summer is almost over.
The 22-year-old suffered both spinal and brain injuries when her ATV crashed into a parked truck around 1:40 a.m. on July 26, 2021.
“I should have died instantly,” she told CTV Windsor from her hospital bed at Parkwood Institute in London, where she’s rehabilitating from the crash, in which she also suffered a collapsed long and 19 broken bones.
Brown woke up from a coma at the hospital and had no recollection of anything before the crash.
“She woke up to life in a hospital, kind of like she was reborn in a hospital,” recalled her father, Jim Brown.
The only thing Jessica Brown remembered was that she had a four-year-old son, Elijah. The other 22 years of her life, including memories of riding ATVs, side-by-sides, skateboards and her love of gaming were completely gone.
“I mean, it sucks. I remember a little bit of my past life, a few seconds of it,” Brown said. “But I’m just thankful I’m alive and half of me made it. So I have nothing to complain about, really.”
While in good spirits, her injuries are lasting. Regaining her memories is a work in progress and she’s paralyzed from the waist down, and is now learning how to use a wheelchair.
“I can’t walk the walk, but I can roll the roll,” Brown joked, noting she’s just as good on a wheelchair as she was on her skateboard.
She said doctors told her family there was a decent chance she wouldn’t make it when she first arrived at hospital. But four months later, Brown is finally headed to her family home in Harrow on Dec. 3, 2021.
”I need to learn how to be a mom and live outside of a hospital,” she said. “I don’t really know anything about living in a house and out of a hospital, but I will learn, very fast.”
It’s a tall task. The family home is 700 square feet and not accessible for a wheelchair.
“We don’t know how this is all going to work out. We’re prepared for the worst and hope for the best,” said her mother, Angie Brown.
The family has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to re-do the flooring and make the bathroom accessible.
“People are donating money trying to help out, and it’s really moving,” Jim Brown said.
For now, Jessica is focusing on her recovery and is making progress with positive vibes and the help of her family.
“If something tragic happens to you or somebody you love, just be happy they’re still here,” she said. “Life can be taken so fast and life is not a game.”
“Just be happy when they’re still here and joke and laugh.”