The Accident

Lethan Candlish Part Two

the accident

Lethan speaks about his accident that landed him in a coma. His parents had to wait in the hospital to see if he would survive.

It was November 4, 1999 in the evening when Lethan was driving his sister to school. He remembered reminiscing with the French teacher before he got in the car and tried to drive home. That was the last part of the day of the accident that he remembered. Lethan told this story in Who Am I Again?

His mother’s story was particularly striking. When she was doing paperwork, Lethan’s mom got a phone call, ring, ring. The voice on the other end of the line told her that her son had been involved in a serious car crash. He was med-flighted to the hospital. He was in a coma.

In this very moment, she felt frozen. The world around her kept going, but she felt like her life came to a halt. She had to tell his father. She had to go to the hospital and didn’t know when she would be back.

At the hospital, Lethan’s mother told him that he was not going to die. “You will live,” she said. She assured him that he would make it through.

Lethan’s father said that he knew Lethan would make it. He knew he would live. He said he didn’t know how he knew, but for once in Lethan’s life, he would listen to his mother.

This is one of the most difficult times for any parent to go through, waiting to see if your child lives or dies.

Lethan realized that his story was much larger than just him. It involved the entire community, the teachers, family, classmates. His accident affected the whole community. “That’s one of the reasons why I began to incorporate stories of my own family and my friends,” he said. “I began to recognize – whenever something so serious happens – it’s not just about that one person.”

See our next post about Lethan’s memories before the crash.


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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