TBI Rehab: The Courage to Come Back
Six years ago, Michael Coss was at the top of the world. The salesman had just received a promotion, and purchased a dream house to live in with his wife and two children. He was a natural athlete, excelling at nearly any sport he tried including hockey, golf, baseball and soccer.
“I was on Cloud 9!” said Coss. “I was living life in the fast lane.”
Unfortunately, Coss’s former life came grinding to halt the morning of May 18, 2006 when, following an automobile accident, he ended up in a seven-month coma. When he awoke, he could move nothing except a single finger.
“The doctors said I would never speak, eat or walk again.” Coss said.
His family was told that Coss would spend the duration of his life as an invalid in an ICU unit. Eric Felder, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehab specialist who worked on Coss’s case wrote that Coss’s injury and disability were so severe that he would likely remain in a reduced mental and functional capacity.
But Coss, who has always possessed the spirit of a champion refused to give up. The willful spirit that once fueled his successes in athletics and business, he fully dedicated to his recovery.
“I was very competitive at sports. I’m always taking things to the next level.” He said.
His perseverance has paid off. Just last month, he completed 2.5 kilometers of the 10K Sun Run unaided except for a cane. But Coss’s transformative results have all been born from hard work.
“I had to relearn how to eat, to bathe, to dress myself,” stated Coss matter-of-factly, without an ounce of self-pity.”I’m learning how to walk [again] at 43.”
Coss’s biggest motivator is his children. “I want to be able to walk hand-in-hand to the park with my kids” he said of his 6-year-old twins Nathan and Danielle.
As an earnest believer in the power of TBI rehab, Micharl Coss formed the Michael Coss Brain Injury Foundation to help pay for hyperbaric chamber treatments for children with TBI. He also gives inspiring talks about his experiences and mentors others suffering with the effects of brain injuries. Coss also wrote and published a book entitled “The Courage to Come Back”, which he typed with a single finger.
When asked if he would change his past if given the chance he said that he would not.
“I think that I was put on this Earth to inspire others to be the best they can be in their own situation.”