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State Council for Persons with Disabilities

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Imagine being an active 20-year-old and having your life change suddenly. On June 17, 2017 this is what happened to Tyler Trego from Harrington, Delaware. As Tyler tells the story, “My friend was driving and unfortunately fell asleep behind the wheel, which caused him to veer off the road. I ended up breaking my back in three places as a result of the accident, which left me with a T5 spinal cord injury. I also had a traumatic brain injury (TBI).” Tyler’s mother, Cristi, added that in addition to the injuries above, Tyler also “had a severely broken sternum, collapsed lungs, bleeding on the brain and a broken bone in his neck. All of the ribs on his right side were broken along with some fractures on the left, as well.” Tyler’s parents searched for the best rehabilitation facility for Tyler and decided on Magee in Philadelphia. He stayed there from July to September of 2017.

Quickly the Trego family was faced with rising medical expenses, travel costs, time off of work, and other needs. In order for Tyler to return home, the family had to move into a new home and make sure Tyler could properly function in his new “normal” throughout the house. Not to mention, Tyler’s parents had to start to learn all of the support resources in the State of Delaware. This family’s life changed in the blink of an eye and they were left looking for answers and solutions on how to help their son. His parents were willing to do whatever it took to get Tyler what he needed; however, maneuvering the system still continues to be a challenge and they learn more and more each day.

Tyler continues to have a great outlook. He stated that “I initially focused on everything I couldn’t do. After working with PT, OT, and speech therapy, I was able to see how much I actually could do, just in a different way than I was used to. I tried to stay positive throughout my recovery and remind myself to focus on what I could do versus what I couldn’t.” The support and love he felt from family, friends, and the community were instrumental in recovery as well.

Tyler and his family continued to have struggles finding support services for young adults. Tyler truly has been a light in this world. Sadly, Tyler passed away on June 8, 2020. We will miss Tyler's smile and positivity, but know that he wants us to press forward with increased resources for our brain injury community