When I went in for the tracheal resection I was very excited. I understood that I would need to stay in the hospital for at least 5 days to recover, and it was a serious and invasive surgery. They were going to cut into my throat, saw through my windpipe twice, and then shorten my […]
About Cavin Balaster
In 2011, I fell two stories, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, and was comatose for 12 days. I was diagnosed with a diffuse axonal injury -- Approximately 90% of people with this type of injury never regain consciousness. After relearning to eat, walk, and talk, I began a journey to spread awareness about health and recovery.
I always worked hard towards my goal: to get as well as possible and be independent again. I remember making a vow to myself that if I were never able to walk or speak again; or that if I were going to be permanently shaky and uncoordinated on my left side, I did not want […]
I left the Traumatic Brain Injury Unit at Mount Sinai on the 27th of July, 2011. My mother pushed me in a wheel chair to the edge of the sidewalk and then I used the walker to brace myself enough to swing myself into the cab. I was still very weak and didn’t have much […]
I was to be transferred to a nursing home on July 18th for “sub-acute” care where I would not get much therapy but where I would stay until I could begin outpatient therapy. My primary nurse told my mom that this would not be a good place for me and to do anything she could […]
On July 18th, 2011 (1 year ago) I walked outside for the first time since the accident. I used a walker on the front ramp of Mount Sinai. Here’s a video of that along with a response to this video sent by my mom. This email was written to my mom by my aunt Debbie, who […]
This is a list of my injuries: I had a bruised and swollen left eye (probably from hitting the scaffolding), luckily the actual eye orbit was bloodshot but ok. A nasal fracture that looked old, a fractured right ileum and a fractured right sacrum (hip bones), 3 cracked ribs on my left side, both lungs […]
On the 4th of July, 2011, I was taken outside in a wheelchair with my mother and some friends. It was a very nice day. I practiced propelling myself moving the foot rests of my wheelchair out of the way and scooting myself forward. I was in an uphill battle with atrophy. I needed to […]
Pretty, isn’t it? This clip keeps me from from leaking stomach juices. One year ago today, On June 28th, 2011, I had a PEG tube placed. My NG tube “slipped out” on the 26th, and I had no nutrition for 26 hours! A PEG tube replaced a more temporary NG tube by bypassing everything and […]
One year ago today marked the beginning of when I could no longer speak. I had my tracheostomy done. Again, a tracheostomy is a medical procedure where a tube was inserted underneath the stenosis into my trachea. This was done surgically. The tracheostomy served to basically bypass the portion of my throat that was […]
I don’t know about you, but I don’t see me behind those eyes. I arrived at Mount Sinai’s TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) Ward on the 20th of June, 2011. Again, I couldn’t walk or eat at this point. My hand was in “the claw” position, my foot in the ballerina position (drop foot), I had […]
See how my left foot does not move. My foot was stuck in this position for months. It took a lot of work to get it and my hand somewhat functional again. On June 15, 2011 I worked with a physical therapist for the first time. She made me cover or close my eyes and […]
I was coming off of some serious drugs: morphine, anesthesia, and steroids! I was out of my mind. I vaguely remember seeing all of the tubes protruding from my body and not knowing what was going on but knowing that whatever it was… It wasn’t good. On June 11th 2011, I ripped out any tube […]
Cavin’s brain injury journey is astounding. His experiences and accomplishments since returning from the brink of death are incredible!
Dr. Leonard PressPress Vision
Cavin takes you on a captivating journey of challenging experiences that leads to an amazingly successful recovery. Cavin is a remarkable person who conveys a remarkable message in each of his talented motivational speeches.
Chip Howe, M.A.Mary lee Foundation
Cavin is wonderfully articulate and takes you through his long rehabilitation journey which involves expert medical care, intense family support, and several ingenious therapy procedures.
Susan R. Barry, Ph.DFixing My Gaze
I’ve never heard a more superb and comprehensive combination of humor, courage, and integration of knowledge on how a patient with traumatic brain injury has put his life back together.
Dr. Curtis R. BaxstromNeuro-optometric Rehabilitation Association