The Masks


Name: Kirk

City: Chattanooga

Brain Injury: Ten years ago, I was stabbed in the temple at a fraternity party.

Explanation of Mask: I was a business and Spanish major in Alabama before the accident.  I have had trouble with drinking and am in AA.  The broken heart represents that my heart was broken from my injury because I haven’t been able to do everything I want to.  The pictures of mountains and the horse represent my love of the outdoors and working with horses.  Before my accident I worked at Yellowstone one summer on horseback.   SPEECH is over my mouth because I have Aphasia which makes reading, writing and speech difficult. My family has always been supportive of me and helped me through my struggles.

Name: Amanda W

City: Elizabethton

Brain Injury: I was in a car accident when I was 6 years old. I was with my grandmother and my sister.  At the hospital, they found a brain tumor.

Explanation of Mask: It has my four favorite colors on it. They make me happy. They remind me of the colors in the bible: red for blood, purple for royalty, I can’t remember the others. I’m creative with art and writing. I get a lot of ideas in my head. It’s fun. Sometimes I feel like I’m very unique, but I think we are all unique. Being around certain people makes me nervous. I’ve really had to be strong, because of all of my life’s experiences.

Name: Gary B

City: Greenville

Brain Injury: Sustained from a car wreck. I was hit by a tractor trailer June 24th 2002.

Explanation of Mask: The color blue represents the sky because the sky’s the limit for me. Brown is the mountain because of strength- Endurance. I feel like life is a constant climb. Green represents the ground- I feel like my feet are finally planted on the ground in the right direction. White represents clouds for my life because I feel when we look at clouds we are dreaming, and I’m always dreaming of what the future holds.

Name: Rich J

City: Knoxville

Brain Injury: Car accident, New Year’s Eve 1981 (student at U.T. Knoxville).

Explanation of Mask:  After my injury everything was random. That’s why my colors are random. Some of the emotions my family felt: helpless, hopeless, and frightened. I felt: Anger. Now I am focused on the task at hand- to get up on my feet again, and be independent.

Name: JimS

City: Limestone

Brain Injury: Auto Accident in 2010

Explanation of Mask: It’s just a mask I guess. Making it though, was peaceful and relaxing. I feel I improved the looks of the mask. The black outline sets it off!  

Name: Callaway F

City: Irwin

Brain Injury: Tick Bite Developed encephalitis due to the bite. Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Explanation of Mask: I wrote the initials RMSF to show what happened to me. The yellow represents my greatness. I’m healed. The teal represents my fear of ticks- Afraid they were all over the pace. Red is me being calm. I feel I’m in a good place.  

Name: Jeff W

City: Mountain City

Brain Injury: Attempted suicide- gunshot.

Explanation of Mask:The blue represents my state of mind before I shot myself, and at the time it happened. On my forehead it says “This one’s mine, Satan. Take your hands off” – The words of my Lord and Savior.  I’ve grown in so many ways since the accident. I am more grateful, and joyful. My large pupils represent the state of addiction I was in.

Name: Robyn W

City: Piney Flats

Brain Injury: I was 20 years old when I was in a car wreck in Knoxville TN. I turned 21 in a coma.

Explanation of Mask: I feel like life is pretty bumpy being handicapped and dealing with everything. I like the word imagine because I don’t know what the future holds, and I feel like I’m in a standstill with life.

Name: Michael O

City: Piney Flats

Brain Injury: At 9 years old I was hit by dump truck. My mom was a crossing guard, and we were crossing the road when I was hit.

Explanation of Mask: My mask is black because I felt in a dark place after the accident. The stars represent wanting to be a police officer, but due to my injury I can’t. The Wizard of Oz means spring and outdoors. The flowers mean sunshine on my face. The porch represents a country home, which makes me smile.  

Name: Kelly W

City: Oak Ridge

Brain Injury: The first injury happened while walking across the street in Johnson City, and a car hit me. The second injury occurred in a car accident.

Explanation of Mask: Adventure was waiting for me in the form of a basketball scholarship at Montreat Anderson College in North Carolina. My entire life I have tried to laugh as much as possible. I have always been adventurous, even after my injuries. I have fun being around wildlife and animals in general. Music helps me to settle down in stressful situations. Listening to country music is my own way of escaping tension and boredom. Purple is a strong color. This represents me well, because I have had to remain strong through all of my trials.

Name: Julia E

City: Irwin

Brain Injury: Hit by car. My car slid on ice, I got out and was hit by a car.

Explanation of Mask: Brown and yellow are my favorite colors. I feel you, and I’m very amazing. Feel blessed to be alive. Grateful. Cheerful.

Name: Jeff J

City: Jonesborough

Brain Injury: Car Wreck in 1991

Explanation of Mask: My mask is blue because it makes me happy to be alive. I left my mouth white because I have a big smile.

Name: Joshua K

City: Limestone

Brain Injury: Hit by a car while walking 

Explanation of Mask: My blue mask represents how free and happy I am. I did not want to add anything to the mask because I feel free and amazing.

Name: Wayne E

City: Kingsport

Brain Injury: Sustained his brain injury in a car wreck.

Explanation of Mask: Before my injury I loved to travel and drive all of my great cars. I was going to school to be a family doctor, but then I sustained my injury. Now I’m still loving life and laughing lots.

Name: Briana S

Brain Injury: Fall at work.

Explanation of Mask: The yellow on my mask represents happiness, being grateful, and being bold. The blue on my mask represents when I feel sad, embarrassed, confused, helpless, and different. The pink on my mask represents love and roses. The red on my mask represents the blood of Jesus, and when I am angry or irritated. The white on my mask represents when I am hopeful.

Name: Jason K 

City: Hixson

Brain Injury: Traumatic brain injury as a result of a fight.

Explanation of Mask: I was born in Pennsylvania where I lived for 6 years.  Next, I lived in Missouri for 5 years before moving to Hixson, TN in 1989.  My interests include exercising, having lunch with my dad, playing pool, and going to Dave & Buster’s on Thursdays.  I enjoy movies and volunteering at Senior Connection, Lilburn Co-Op, and Norcross Ministries. Mac ‘n cheese, potatoes, or anything starchy top my list of favorite foods.  As long as I’m fed, I am one happy camper. Of all the things I have lost, I miss my mind the MOST!