Charlotte man pays it forward, starts support group for fellow trauma survivors

Charlotte man pays it forward, starts support group for fellow trauma survivors

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - By all accounts, Bruce Munsky shouldn’t be alive. In 2006, a horrific accident left the then-28 year old clinging to life in the trauma unit of a Maryland hospital.

"One of those big construction trucks that fix telephone poles – broke down in front of me and my truck just smashed into the back of it,” he recalled. “Pretty much like a Coke can with me caught in the middle. My entire body was crushed. I was in a coma for about two months because one of my many injuries was a severe traumatic brain injury. Everything internally was torn or lacerated. I had stints in my heart and aorta. They removed most of my abdomen."

The accident happened just days before Bruce and his wife and children were set to move to North Carolina. The prognosis for his recovery was grim. Bruce said, “they were telling my wife that I’d never wake up. That I’d be a vegetable because of my brain injury.”

But Bruce defied the odds. And, it would take doctors more than 100 operations to rebuild his body. At least one operation every couple of months for the next *seven* years.

“Lots of metal, rods, and screws and all those other materials,” he said about what it took to save his life. “Plus, I had to learn how to walk and talk again. Like a newborn baby cause of my brain injury.”

He credits two things with getting him through his years-long recovery.

"My wife,” he said proudly. “My Tina, My Angel is what I call her. But then - the trauma survivors' network. It's a life saver. The Trauma Survivors Network saves as many lives as all these doctors and nurses that are in the hospital do."

While in Maryland, Bruce helped to start one of the very first Trauma Survivors Networks. Once here in North Carolina, he did the same thing at Carolinas Medical Center.

Bruce said he was determined to show fellow survivors anything was possible. “I’m here to show people that nothing is impossible the only thing that is impossible is whatever they make impossible. The only thing that I saw stopping me during my recovery was me and that’s what I try to help other trauma survivors see.”

He helps them to see that by freely sharing his story - of being a walking miracle.

“There were times that I didn’t think I would walk again or pick my kids up again or do all those things that I took advantage of before my accident that I couldn’t do at that time,” he said. “But again just being able to hear other survivors' stories, I could tell you many of them now that are miracles – to me they’re miracles… I am a miracle and that’s why I’m here to help others create miracles."

The Trauma Survivor’s Network meets monthly at CMC- main. To read more of Bruce’s story, go here.

Atrium Health's trauma center

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