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"I'm very thankful for my wife and kids."- Interview with Jason Jirovec

Tell me about yourself. You can start wherever you would like. Fun facts and occupation are examples.

I’m married and I’m a father of two young kids. One is a girl, and the other is a boy. I’m a former pilot and aircraft maintenance engineer apprentice. I’m from a small town in Northern Ontario. I enjoy biking and fitness very much.

Please share as much information as you feel comfortable disclosing about the nature of your injury and how it was caused. hat is your biggest thought regarding this period of time?

I was in an accident on a three-wheeler. Out of nowhere, I was hit by someone in an accident. I sustained a traumatic brain injury, amongst many other injuries. I’m still kind of in shock when I think about what happened. It doesn’t seem real to me. I don’t have all my memories of that time.

Do you ever find external pressure from society impacting your social life? Yes, I do. I feel pressure to be as normal as possible, especially with walking and talking. I’m trying to keep up. I don’t really have much of a social life anymore. The pandemic has made that even harder.

Are there any obstacles in your life that prevent you from accomplishing your goals? It would be balance issues, and that happens when I’m tired. As soon as I get fatigued, I have trouble walking, talking, and thinking. I am fatigued often, and I get overstimulated. I also struggle with motivation and anxiety.

What do you think changed the most after your injury, and how have you been coping with it? It would definitely be my relationships with other people. I lost many friends, and I was alone at home at times. People don’t understand, and it seems they don’t really want to.

Who are the people that you have been most thankful for during your recovery? I’m very thankful for my wife and my kids. My kids were actually born during my recovery.

What is the first thing you want to do after the pandemic cools down? I would enjoy going to travel with my wife and kids after everything cools down.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I have a hard time seeing myself tomorrow and in the future. However, I hope that my talking and walking will get better. I am practicing day by day!

Do you have any hobbies that you enjoy? Any interests? I have many hobbies that I enjoy. Examples of these are biking, writing, playing video games, playing board games, and cooking. I also enjoy reading and learning.

What advice would you give to people who are brain injury survivors who are trying to recover? Brain injury recovery is like the stock market. There are ups and downs and ups and downs. However, it gets better with time because you heal. You get to know yourself better and find ways to cope.

Interviewed by Brianna Paulino

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