Lethan Candlish Revisited

Lethan Candlish Revisited

Today, Lethan Candlish writes a blog about dealing with life after a brain injury and lives in Pohang, Korea.

It’s been about six years since Lethan Candlish’s performance of Who Am I Again. He has graduated from college, pursued a master’s in storytelling, and even asked someone to marry him since then. He is also currently living in Pohang, Korea.

He moved to Korea about four years ago, living in different places. He didn’t find a huge demand for storytelling in the United States, so he decided to move across the world. In a couple months, Lethan and his girlfriend will be moving to China to teach English conversation in the university.

Until then, Lethan is keeping busy by working on documentaries and teaching English to kindergartners in Korea. He found that Korea was a good place to practice his craft. “I wanted to get more life experiences,” he said, acknowledging he was taking a risk by moving to Korea.

When I asked him how his brain injury has affected his life, he referenced his blog, saying he tried to address that question in his blog. “I’d probably have to say it’s actually really hard to tell how it affects your life because it becomes who you are,” he said.

He also tried to explore this question in Who Am I Again, where he talks about relearning how to interact with the world. It’s hard to differentiate between what is due to brain injury and what you’ve done because you’re human and make mistakes, he said.

About once a month, he might notice something that he can point to and say that was because of my brain injury. Then, he said, he ends up second guessing himself. Again, it’s hard to know because it is who you are. “I’m still coming to terms with it,” he said.

Lethan’s recovery was very good for many reasons. First, he was only 17 years old. His brain was still changing at that time. It was easier for him to adapt that way. Second, he was going off to college. He was going to meet new people who didn’t know the old him. They wouldn’t say that he had changed because of his brain injury. They didn’t know him before, so they couldn’t. Third, there was an outpouring of support from the community and his parents.

He said that he experienced a “wealth of love.” I may not have scientific proof, but I have experiential proof of that causing me to make leaps and bounds in my recovery, he said.

One thing that really helped him was being able to talk about his brain injury. “It helped me come to terms with it,” he said. He recalled being back at the Crumley House Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center. Seeing all of the survivors and shared experiences was enlightening, he said.

This is why we are revisiting the stories in the TBI Voices project. We seek to enlighten people about the issue of brain injury. At least, we want you to feel less alone. Many people go through a brain injury, and many people find recovery, too.


Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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