My name is Leilani Murakami I am a 19 year-old . I’m going to tell you a brief story about how precious life is. At the age of fifteen I was trying to fit in doing stupid things with even dumber people. Well it all started when my misconceived friend starting getting me to go to the clubs with her. At the time it was all fun or so I thought. My associate and I were at this club every other night at least; sometimes more. It is not somewhere where I should’ve been nor with whom I was there. Though I was still there, but on this one meticulous night my life took a complete turn. On this it was December 29, 20014 days after Christmas, and 2days before the New Year (2002). My associate’s aunt picked us up for our routine to go to the club this night. It was a Friday when I attended this club. Later when it became Saturday… Approximately around 2AM, I was in a single car rollover accident near Academy & Maizeland. My father received a call around 2:30 AM from Memorial Hospital’s Emergency room. I was in critical condition suffering a major head trauma (tbi-trauma brain injury) my father was told I would need neurosurgery and that it would take about 4-5 hours (surgery to remove blood clots tbi). I was then transferred from ER to the ICU (intensive care unit) trauma ward (4th floor). There was then a feeding tube placed through my nose. Further injuries appeared such as a collapsed left lung as a result of some fractured ribs. I was breathing on a machine. Fractured collarbone, but luckily no spinal damage. Tues. Jan 1My head and face were extremely swollen while my head was bandaged all around with numerous amounts of visible staples to seal the incision.
Wed, Jan 2My eyes had started to peer open it had appeared I was to make it out of a coma. Thurs, Jan 3 consultation for a PEG tube insertion in stomach for feeding, and medication purposes. Fri Jan 4 start talking for first time my complaints for hunger, and how I wanted food. I started rehabilitating therapy that day. Sat Jan 5 I failed a swallow test so could not eat or even drink water so a PEG tube was inserted in my stomach. Sun Jan 6 I stayed in the ICU approximately ten days. I complained of severe stomach pains from my feeding tube, and the chest tube functioned to drain my lung from any water. Mon Jan 7 I moved up from fourth to sixth floor recovery. I was required to have a 24-hour sitter. Tues Jan 8 to Sat Jan 12 ongoing therapy. Sun Jan 13 I got pneumonia due to lack of activity. Wed Jan 16 I moved up another floor to 7th floor rehab. Still I was required a 24-hour sitter. I was undergoing OT, PT, and ST-(occupational, physical, and speech therapies) Thurs Jan 17 started with pureed food (blended up foods) Fri Jan 18 I called home to my father and reported I fell on my head with a sitter present. Hospital staff never reported the incident, but yet cared to take precautions to taking tests to see if there was any further damage to what I was already undergoing. Tue Jan 22 My father called the clinical manager to discuss a meeting in regards to my fall. The nurse apologized for failing to notify my father. Wed Jan 23 I was able to sit up in my wheel chair upright for approx. 35 minutes-hospital only wanted 20mins. Fri Jan 25 I had noticeable movement in my elbow and wrist. Advancement to a soft mechanical diet like applesauce. Sat Jan 26 My dad and I watched movies laughed, hugged, reassured me everything’s going to be ok. I cried my dad stayed with me for five and a half hours. Sun Jan 27 low blood pressure not having enough rest though I was putting back the 30 lbs I had lost. Mon Jan 28 I took my first steps with my walker. Tues Jan 29 my left knee had bent a little for the first time in a long time. Wed Jan 30 I had finally done it this day I passed my swallow test I was able to drink and eat normal food, Yay. Thurs
Jan 31 Had my first meal and me and my dad took a stroll through the hospital in my wheelchair, my dad bought me the softest bunny rabbit from the gift shop. Fri February 1 My dad and I had supper together. Sat Feb 2 able to get around with my walker. Thurs Feb 7 my cheer sister, my dad and I enjoyed pizzas and subs. Fri Feb 8 my neuropsychologist approves me to go home on Sunday Feb 17for 2-3 hours. Sun Feb 17 I sang for the first time in presence of my grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin, cheer sister, and my dad. Mon Feb 18 I received my own walker, and wheelchair. Thurs Feb 21 Thurs Feb 21 I received word that I could go home Sunday the 24. Fri Feb 22 I was forced to give up my single person hospital room to a new patient that needed a quiet room. My brother’s church members were willing to volunteer to supervise me when I returned home. Sat Feb 23 I started packing. Sun Feb 24 Home at last! My dad and I went to go see Cassandra at St. Francis.
So what really caused the accident that night?
According to my private investigator here is how things went down. Me, and three other girls were at the beach club. Our driver said she was going to go home and get her contacts. In doing so she left the two girls and me at the club. Then reports state that an hour or so went by and she finally came back. I was told she had stated she got lost when asked what took so long. No one thought anything. Based on factual statements, the next thing the three of us girls did was jumped in our drivers car, and sped off… Police reports recorded our car running down South Academy at minimum of 90 MPH. Driving in the middle lane our driver drove off the curb from the middle lane onto the Palmer Park field making several rolls before hitting a light pole.
As it is unfortunate it turns out our driver was not in fact getting her contacts, but was out buying herself bottles of liquor and intoxicating herself in the parking lot. You probably ask how you did not know she was drunk considering alcohol intoxication is .08 in Colorado, and her bac level was .28. It is very difficult for me to know or understand how I did not know. If I could remember that night just go back for a second and wish what I was doing what I was thinking at that exact moment I might be able to tell you, but she states she was just really quiet so we didn’t know and that we just jumped in the car. On May 6 of 2002 Linda Isabel Nunez was tried and convicted for 3 counts of vehicular assault, and 3 counts of reckless endangerment. She was tried and found guilty on all six charges. The judge convicted Linda Nunez for 3 years in jail, 10 years probation. Now this may sound like a lot for you, but it is nothing compared to my suffrage. I mean just think I will undergo therapy for a very long time. I cannot smell, I am incorrectly blind in one eye, and may never have my infinite potential of the mental pomposity I may have had. All in all I just must be thankful for what I have now. So my message to you is don’t drink and drive! Please be safe in any and everything that you may do and overcome. If your not you may wake up one day like I did… Not being able to see, you cannot speak, knowing someone’s there but you cannot respond, not being able to talk, think of not being able to eat, or even drink water at that, Imagine being completely paralyzed on one side of your body from head to toe. What are you going to do? How are you going to deal? Your life is so precious and we take everything for granted. Please even if you do not care and think oh it will be ok I am drunk and I am the only one I am driving stop yourself, call someone, heck walk somewhere. Just because you know what your going to do you don’t know what someone else is going to do, and you may hurt or even kill someone. Think before you drink. If your not doing it for you do it for someone else. You could save someone, and yourself. Please your life is precious like an angel soaring trying to find their way. I have found my way through a broken heart getting bigger, life trials and tribulations have you found yours through faith, hope, love, and peace? Your life is precious hold it dearly, treasure it, nurture it feed your mind, your body, and mostly your soul. Like an angel trying to find their way life is precious. Just precious
Cassandra Bryant backseat passenger with me. Was a sixteen year old acquaintance of mine suffered a closed head injury with a broken pelvis. She suffered great pain mentally, and physically, as she recovers I will be forever bonded with her. Cassie is now 18 and has physical and mental disabilities, but continues to grow better everyday. Cassie was the befriended best friend of the driver.
Stephanie Hernandez was 17 years old she was my best friend in disguise. It was her aunt Lind, but her aunt Linda was our age kind of tangled. Stephanie suffered a elongated laceration to the face sitting as a front side passenger. She was admitted for surgery, and able to leave the next day.
Leilani Murakami I suffered a closed head injury, a stroke leaving me paralyzed on my left side, fractured collarbone, fractured/splintered ribs causing a punctured/collapsed left lung, fractured neck, back and shoulder. Blindness in one eye, no sense of smell, short-term memory damaged, compensation skills defected. ADHD caused by imbalance of chemicals.
Linda Nunez the driver suffered from cuts and bruises and walked away from the accident the night it happened.
Now I do a brain injury support group for all youth and I am walking talking doing fine still attenfding Doherty High School. 7 years ago