Second Chance to Live — creator and author — Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
To contact Mr. Phillips please click here.
Looking for an authority on addressing, handling and overcoming adversity?
Looking for a resource on strategies, mindsets and methodologies to encourage, motivate and empower individuals who have mental, emotional, and physical challenges?
Looking for an authority on resilience and how to navigate the system to empower the individual?
Looking for someone who has worked for the system as a masters level rehabilitation counselor and now is a participant in the system — who understands both sides of the system — as a counselor and a consumer
Journalists, Radio Show Host, TV Producers, or Bloggers, do you also need a guest who is…
* very aware that you are under a deadline and will get back to you quickly?
* able to capture your listener’s attention and inspires callers to phone in?
* quick on his feet and able to adroitly adjust regardless of the topic?
* able to inspire your audience to live life on life’s terms regardless of the present circumstances?
* an entertaining and informative guest with public speaking and radio experience?
* happy to “play” off the interviewer while engaging the audience?
Look no further. I am available to be of service to you.
Below is a sampling of what I can offer to you.
INTERVIEWS and GUEST RADIO APPEARANCES
On March 18, 2009 Gil Gross of ABC Radio San Francisco KGO AM 810 interviewed me on the topic of traumatic brain injury and living with an invisible disability. I can be listened to during the 16 -20 minute segment of the hour long program. To listen to the interview click hear and then click on Play.
On September 27, 2010 Second Chance to Live appeared as a guest on Brain Injury Radio Network. The title of the program — “Help I am stuck inside myself”. Click on Help I am stuck inside myself and you will be taken to the station where you can listen to the program. Simply click on the play button and after listening to a short advertisement the host — Craig Sicilia creator of the TBI Survivors Network –- will begin the program. As you listen to the program and questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact me – Contact Information. Thank you.
On October 25, 2010 Second Chance to Live appeared as a guest on Brain Injury Radio Network. The title of the program – “Isolation — The Lonely Journey”. Click on Isolation — The Lonely Journey and you will be taken to the station where you can listen to the program. After listening to a short advertisement the host — Craig Sicilia creator of the TBI Survivors Network – will begin the program. As you listen to the program and questions arise, please do not hesitate to contact me – Contact Information. Thank you.
On April 18, 2011 I appeared as a guest speaker on the Brain Injury Radio Network. I spoke for approximately 20 minutes on the topic of “Advocacy — Making it Work for You“. To listen to the program please click on the following link Advocacy — Making it Work for You and you will be taken to the station where you can listen to the program. After listening to an advertisement the host — Kevin Phillips (no relation to me) – will begin the program. Following Kevin’s interview with Nina Hirsch — a strong advocate for people with disabilities and for veterans with living brain injuries in Florida — Kevin interviews me. Kevin’s interview of me begins at the 30 minutes mark of the 60 minute program.
On May 30, 2011 I contributed to the discussion, “Using Creativity to Heal” on the Brain Injury Radio Network which was hosted by Lee Carlson. To listen to the radio program click on “Using Creativity to Heal”. After listening to a brief advertisement, the program will begin. My contribution to the radio program begins at the 39:15 minute mark of the program and ends close to the 45 minute mark of the program. As you listen to the program and have questions, please ask. All questions are good questions.
On September 9, 2011 Vicki Kind of Kind Ethics. Viki Kind is a clinical bioethicist, medical educator and hospice volunteer interviewed me on her Blog talk Radio Program — Kind Ethics in Life – under the title of Craig J. Phillips, “Living Again after a Brain Injury”. My 30 minute interview with Vicki can be listened to on her blog talk radio program by clicking hear.
On September 10, 2011 Second Chance to Live Craig J. Phillips was interviewed by Don Crosby of Sound Behavior at New Life 91.9 Christian talk radio –WRCM on August 11, 2011. The interview was broadcast on Family Talk Sirius XM Satellite Radio Sirius 131 / XM131 on Saturday September 10, 2011 at 4 pm and on AM 960 / AM 980 / FM 105.7 on Saturday September 10, 2011 at 11 pm. The interview was also broadcast on the AM and FM channels on September 11, 2011 at different times. To listen to the 30 minute interview, please click hear.
On December 12, 2011 I contributed to the discussion on the Brain Injury Radio Network — Are you playing games? which was hosted by Nichole Dee. To listen to the radio program please click on this link Are you playing games? After listening to a brief advertisement, the program will begin. My contribution to the radio program begins at the 14:04 minute mark and ends at the 22:22 minute mark of the radio program. As you listen to the program and have questions, please ask. All questions are good questions.
On January 24, 2012 I was fortunate to be a guest on a radio program. I want to share my experience with you.The radio program Brain Injury Radio Network with Host Lee Carlson. The name of the program that was aired last evening was called – The Secret Show. To listen to the radio program please click here: The Secret Show. After listening to a brief advertisement the radio program will begin. The program lasts for 60 minutes. The portion of the program in which I participated begins at the 32:15 minute mark of the program and ends at the 43:00 minute mark of the program. I spoke to the topic of building self-confidence.
On May 8, 2013 I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Rockland World Radio by Daniel Windheim. The program, Dialogues with Dan aired between 6:30 and 7:00 pm on May 8th, 2012. To listen to the interview, please click on the following link Dialogues with Dan and then click on the play button besides Craig Phillips, TBI Survivor; Creator and Author of Second Chance to Live. To listen to the interview and the radio program, you may need to turn your speakers to high volume.
On February 10, 2012 Second Chance to Live appeared on the Rose Moore Radio Program on AllTalkRadio.net. The radio program lasts for approximately 45 minutes and begins after an advertisement and an introductory program song. To listen to the Radio Program — as hosted by Rick Moore — please click on the following link: Rose Moore Radio Program with Craig Phillips. Please turn up the volume on your speakers to listen to the radio program my friend. Thank you. As you listen to the program and questions come to mind, please write those questions down and send them to me. All questions are good questions. If you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.
On October 4, 2012 I had the privilege of being interviewed by Fantastic Frank on his radio program on Blog Talk Radio. The interview lasted for 30 minutes and can be listened to by clicking on the following link my friend Fantastic Frank with Craig Phillips, Second Chance to Live. As you listen to the interview and questions come to mind please send those questions to me. my friend. All questions are good questions. If you would like to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.
On October 9, 2013 I was honored to give a keynote presentation at the Southwest Conference on Disability 2013. The day after I gave my keynote presentation, Michael Shaughnessy Education Views Senior Columnist approached me and asked if he could interview me for EducationViews.org. I told him that I would be honored to be of service. The interview was posted on October 31.
On October 31, 2013 the interview was published on Education Views. To read the complete interview, please click on the following link: http://www.educationviews.org/interview-craig-j-phillips-mrc-ba-chance-live/. In the event that you believe the information could be of benefit to other people, please share the interview with them. In the event that you would like me to speak at your upcoming conference, please let me know. I am available and look forward to being of service.
On November 13, 2013 Wednesday I was interviewed by Kim Justus on her radio program — Recovery Now with Kim Justus, Brain Injury Radio Network. The name of the radio program is “Second Chance to Live: Recovery Now with Kim Justus”. You can listen to the complete interview, please click on the following link and the interview will play for you: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/braininjuryradio/2013/11/14/recovery-now-with-kim-justus
In the event that you would like to schedule an interview with Second Chance to Live, be a guest on your radio program or speak to your group, organization, hospital, staff, church, synagogue or other venue, please contact him by using this link: Contact Information page.
As you listen to the various programs and have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. All questions are good questions and all comments are welcome.
PUBLICATIONS AND HONORS
Second Chance to Live has been published within:
Growth Point, social and therapeutic journal, Summer Edition 2007, Thrive, The Geoffrey Udall Centre, Beech Hill Reading RG7 2AT email email@example.com My Journey thus Far
Brain Injury Association of Texas newsletter, Summer Edition 2007, Austin, Texas email firstname.lastname@example.org, My Journey thus Far
In Touch, newsletter, Summer Edition 2007, Westminster, Colorado, email Elaine@ImAlreadyHome.com
The Brain Injury Handbook, Rehab UK, September 2007, 62a, Peach Street Wokingham Berkshire, RG40 1XH email email@example.com
Transformation Times, October and November issues. Transformation Times is a mini-magazine, serving men and women of the armed services and their families and is published by Operation Life Transformed. My articles are listed under , Traumatic Brain Injury and Activities of Daily Living with in the mini-magazine. You can access the mini-magazine through http://lifetransformed.org/Documents/Oct_T_times_final_(3)%5B1%5D.pdf . Operation Life Transformed can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org
European Brain Injury Society, E.B.I.S Newsletter Automne 2007 http://www.ebissociety.org/automn/newsletter-angl.htm/ Rue de Londres, 17 – 1050 Bruxelles – Belgique My Journey thus Far
Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Neuropsychology http://www.tbi.pmr.vcu.edu/ , My Journey thus Far, TBI Today Volume 6 Issue I — winter 2008 issue News, Ideas and Resources from the Virginia TBI Model System
Synapse — The Official Journal of the Brain Injury Associations of Queensland – Spring 2008 Quarterly Edition ISSN 1448-9856 http://www.braininjury.org.au/, http://www.synapse.org.au/ Traumatic Brain Injury and Transition.
Synapse — The Official Journal of the Brain Injury Associations of Australia — Summer 2008 Quarterly Edition http://www.braininjury.org.au/, http://www.synapse.org.au/ Traumatic Brain Injury and Denial — My Perspective as a TBI Survivor.
The Brain Injury Handbook* *Rehab UK,* Section 7_ * December 2008*,Useful Contacts and Resource, 62a, Peach Street Wokingham Berkshire, RG40 1XH email email@example.com
The Brain Injury Association of Canada, July 27, 2009 as posted by web sites Administration:Service
Synapse — The Official Journal of the Brain Injury Associations of Australia — September 2009 Quarterly Edition, http://www.braininjury.org.au , http://www.synapse.org.au/Traumatic Brain Injury and Limitations.
ARNA — The Official Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses’ Association, May 2010 EditionVolume 13 Number 1 2010 Page 9-10 To Empower Nurses is to Empower Their Patients http://www.arna.com.au
Second Chance to Live and the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association. Click here.
Second Chance to Live and the University of Hawaii. Click here.
Second Chance to Live and Intute — United Kingdom. Click here.
Second Chance to Live and the European Brain Injury Society. Click here.
Second Chance to Live and the Brain Injury Association of Australia. Click here.
Brain Injury Association of Canada features Second Chance to Live. Click here.
Second Chance to Live — Selected Site Meter.com Featured Site of August 2008. Click here.
From Evaluations of Workshops done in Anchorage, Alaska and Seattle, Washington:
Recently I was a guest speaker at 2 different conferences: Alaska Peer Partnership Conference and the Embracing Life and Living Well after Traumatic Brain Injury Conference. A few comments that I received from my participation in the conferences were:
“While listening to Craig a light bulb went off regarding my son who experienced a TBI (unknown to me) in middle school and some thing that may help him” and “I was extremely impressed how he showed us how determination is usually all it takes. I appreciate your story tremendously” and “I learned more about individuals with brain injuries” and “keep after your goal”.
“Extremely inspirational, grateful for the entire workshop. Didn’t feel like going & I feel completely uplifted by the experience with Craig”, “I have read Craig’s blog for years. Thank you for bringing him to the conference. He is amazing and very uplifting.”, “He shared his point of view on many levels so that various people could understand”, “Very caring speaker”, “A wonderful story of hope!”, “Craig has lived his subject and has persisted-good message to impart” and “A very inspiring speaker!”
NRI Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital
Rolf Gainer Ph.D. | January 29, 2013
Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA, has experienced a traumatic brain injury and through his journey he has created a website A Second Chance to Live which offers each visitor a unique resource for living with brain injury or other invisible disability. Mr. Phillips provides a rich personal exploration of the challenges and barriers he faced in his life following his injury. Each of his teachings are filled with introspection and good sound advice.
For a person living with the effects of a brain injury or other disability, Mr. Phillips will be a powerful resource to staying on the road to a full return to enjoying life. I recommend his work and encourages readers of this blog to visit Mr. Phillips’ website:
Rolf Gainer Ph.D.
Jennifer S. March 15 2013 10:44 pm
Craig, you are a brave inspiration to other Brain Injury Survivors (myself included) out there! I am legally blind, but your video’s have touched me in so many ways. It is as if you are reading my mind at times. Bless you for what you do to pay it forward to other Survivors!
Lorraine Murphy September 20, 2012 10:25 am
“Craig is one of the most inspirational figures I’ve ever met. He has not only come back from traumatic injury to achieve greater things than most people dream, he’s retained his humility and his essential good nature at the same time. It’s simply an honor to know him, and I would recommend him to anyone as a speaker or educator. He is at the top of his field.”
Dolly Salters March 8, 2012 7:58 pm
My endorsement for Second Chance to Live. My son William is two years old. He was born three and a half months early. He developed NEC at two weeks old. William had an emergency colostomy surgery. He didn’t pee for two weeks after that which caused severe swelling. He experienced a grade four PVL that left him with brain damaged that caused cerebral palsy. He has global developmental delays. He just turned two and he truly is Strong Will. In the last two years i have done a lot of research and social networking. I found Craig and Second Chance to Live through a group on fb. The messages are practical. They give me a new outlook on situations. I feel motivated by Craig s articles. There are so many ways to look at your situation. Take a look at Second Chance to Live Articles and allow yourself to to use the gifts, talents, and abilities God has given us. We all are in this together. Anything you can do to raise awareness is great. Support our brother Craig and enjoy your reading! Hugs
Dolores E. Green BSW, QMHP, MBA Pending January 7, 2012 12:35 pm
I am very impressed with Craig Phillips’ work, articles, and information especially on the “Second Chance To Live” website that he founded, and authors all articles of very valuable information to not only brain injury survivors but also to those that serve this population and their families.
Craig’s passionate desire to inspire others such as myself as a brain injury survivor by choosing to reach out through his own hardships and sharing with a community of friends who so need what he has to offer has helped educate me regarding the Grieving process after TBI, relationship issues and conflict, and most of all about my rights and services available to me as a TBI survivor.
Through Craig’s mission to help others, i have learned most of all that I am not alone and his ministry is touching the hearts of so many across the globe. I am grateful for our connection through my Case Management Services and connection with the Community Futures’ Foundation in Richmond Virginia.
I am honored to help Market Craig’s website on wordpress.com called seconchancetolive.org because I share in his mission, goals, and vision. The work that God has chosen to do through Craig, I believe will travel the globe and bless multitudes of people from all walks of life.
My injuries have been accumulative over the years until a car accident of 2005 complicated an already difficult to manage illness-Traumatic Brain Injury. I was not aware of the resources and help, so I was not given much of it until a job transfer in Social Work and Counseling warranted my transfer from Wytheville Virginia to Richmond Virginia.
God has blessed me with a strong support system through the Community Futures’ Foundation here and via their links I was connected to Craig and secondchancetolive.org.
Friends, I hope you will support this ministry by connecting and subscribing to Craig Phillips wordpress.com page today called secondchancetolive.org where you will find 800 articles on advocacy, education, and resources of not only brain injury issues but dealing with grief, loss, self-esteem issues, and many more.
Please connect and be blessed today and allow God to minister to you right where you are on your life’s journey today.
Peace and God Bless to Craig Phillips, secondchancetolive.org, all brain injury survivors, their families, communities and organizations that serve brain injury survivors, and YOU!
Dolores E. Green Torres, BSW, QMHP, MBA Pending
Ken Collins Program Manager at San Juan Center for Independence, Gallup, New Mexico January 3, 2012 2:21 pm
“I have known Craig for several years and can say his advocacy work for people with brain injuries is outstanding. He is committed to his work and this helps many people with brain injuries to live more rewarding lives in the community. Craig is a role model and advocate for people with brain injuries. I highly recommend him and the work he does on his Second Chance to Live Website!”
Viki Kind, MA is a Clinical Bioethicist, Consultant, Professional Speaker and Hospice Volunteer January 2, 2012 9:16 pm
“Craig is an inspiration and a person of great wisdom. I love his writings and his dedication to helping people find their way through a medical crisis and back to a meaningful life. He has so much to teach all of us as we journey through each phase of our lives. I admire Craig’s ability to empower those who need the motivation to begin again. I highly endorse Craig as a motivator and inspirational speaker.”
Fermin Jimenez, Chief Executive Officer/ Founder, Freedom Veterans of Florida, Inc worked with Craig J. at Second Chance to Live
“Mr. Craig J. Phillips, MRC, BA., is a tremendous asset to any school, organization, or corporation in need of his services.” October 31, 2010
Walter Hamilton October 15, 2011 9:20 pm
“Through the few years that I have been following your articles, and using your example of allowing the process to happen one day at a time I was granted a unique opportunity to experience, a great spiritual awakening. I have learned, to slow my mind down also to appreciate life’s challenges. I have grown as a loving father and a compassionate person from my journey being guided by the process, and living with traumatic brain injury and so my friend; I’m living life on life’s term. Second Chance to Live is a great gift from God. Thank you and May God bless you and your family.”
Kevin Martin, Unified Communications Analyst, Duke Energy was with another company when working with Craig J. at Second Chance to Live November 26, 2010
“Craig has achieved beyond the expectations of others as a TBI survivor and is doing a lot to bring attention to the hidden nature of this condition both personally and through his website. He is also helping empower others to reach their potential in a way that is non judgmental and positive!”
Don Crosby, Founder/CEO at Global Behavior Companies Charlotte, North Carolina Area hired Craig J. as a Speaker in 2010 November 22, 2010
“Craig Phillips is an amazing man with the story to prove it! His passion and quest for life is an inspiration to all who slow down long enough be touched. I have had my operations and physical challenges…but when I compare my story to Craig my eye’s become full of tears and sadness of his journey to fight for his life. He could have quit, but he’s a courageous fighter to help others by encouragement of how they also can succeed and overcome any obstacle. Support Craig, you’ll be glad you did.”
Top qualities: Personable, Expert, High Integrity
Tony Morris, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Writing, Armstrong Atlantic State University was with another company when working with Craig J. at Second Chance to Live October 27, 2010
“Craig is as tireless advocate for people living with brain injuries, invisible disabilities — or adversity in general — and he works hard to promote the concept that people no longer have to remain alone or isolated in their disabilities — that they can reach out to one another to find comfort, courage and hope through the power of identification.”
Lorraine Murphy, skookumchick, raincoaster media ltd worked with Craig J. at Second Chance to Live
“Craig is an inspiration to those of us who’ve come to know him through his blog and work on various other social networks including this one. He is unsparingly kind, respectful, hard-working, and precise. His achievements and the media recognition he’s attained are truly remarkable.” May 8, 2009
Nancy H. commenting on my YouTube video presentations August 23, 2011
I do not have a ‘disability’ other than being human, and I find your words extremely encouraging for every day rigors of life. Maybe disability isn’t really a disability, it’s an opportunity. One that all of us ‘abled’ people could learn from as well. The opportunity to find out that none of us are really that different from each other. No matter what life throws at us, we can stand up and move forward, together, and get there, or not. It’s a choice. And, in the end, we are not that different, in that we experience the same feelings of joy, accomplishment, defeat, determination, perseverance, love, comfort, general pissed-off-ed-ness. All these moments make a life worth living. Please keep up the good work.
Judy H. September 13 11:11 am
I feel so blessed to have found Craig’s Second Chance to Live site. His writings have been an inspiration to me. He’s gotten me through feeling worthless. I too am a traumatic brain injury survivor. I had a great career at an advertising agency.
Loyal Miller July 30, 2011 8:56 pm
That presentation is amazing. I just wanted you to know that not only has second chance given me courage through my journey. It has also given me hope through a world in which I tried to mask myself with denial. Not only did I mask I hid myself from others due to embarrassment and confusion. Because I didn’t want others to know that in the worlds eye that I was less than everybody, and it hurt me. It hurt me because of not having humility to humble myself and say I need help. That just led to people coming and going, in & out of life. You have given me new insight with your website which is very encouraging to me and others with an unseen disability.
Because of your encouragement I will never look down at myself again, no matter how arduous the journey is. That is to say with a relationship with God and family I am able to walk this out, and it’s been difficult at times. Brain injury is tough, and its even tougher when you don’t have others that understand or others that simply say that’s not possible, your making this up, it can’t possibly be that hard. I’m sure you’ve heard discouragement from others in family and outside of family too. It’s like they don’t want to see you now. They want to look at how you were before the injury. That to me has been difficult. I’m still Loyal, but not the same as I was pre-brain injury, and that is where the line of distinction is. That recognition has not happened for me with all family or friends. To have a friend such as yourself that knows personally how devastating things can be, and to keep a positive outlook despite what you’re going through goes a long way. Thank you so much for everything that you do to encourage people like ourselves, and just keep up the good works. I hope that everything is blessed for you & yours always. God bless you!
Brenda Bell July 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm http://brendabell.org
Tiger Lady USA
I can say a lot about Craig Phillips “Second chance to live.” I’ve taken time out to read his articles and I highly recommend every reader to read his articles. I have taken the time out to speak with Craig Phillips, a great human being! He now shares his message on my website because I believe a lot of people can benefit from his post and messages. Sometimes, the real world and society may not understand us or those with brain injuries or TBI survivors. We are just out there, almost forgotten. But with “Second Chance to live” there is support around. More power to you Mr Craig Phillips, God gave you a true purpose. In true respect,
Jennifer Vanella Soprano June 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm Ex, director Jmvrainbowvisions Inc.
A few months ago as I was searching for disability success stories and inspiration and then I came across Craig’s Master Piece ‘A second chance to live” and it stopped me in my tracks. Craig’s passionate words not only uplifts the heart and soul but really reminds us the only thing that can stop us from being successful and happy in this world is ourselves. As a person who has had brain damage her whole life it was inspirational to find another person who gets what it can be like. Keep writing and inspiring –
Jennifer Vanella Soprano
Scott P. Cole May 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm
Craig Phillips’ ‘Second Chance to Live’ has been a most welcome support to my own travels through the confused-and-confusing world of recovery from/with traumatic brain injury (TBI). This experience is a huge, at times unwieldy and frustrating “process” (my own recovery is now in its 23rd year). I have found his words to be extremely supportive to me personally, in providing a source of invaluable information and support from one who has, in his own remarkable life with the injury, experienced so much of what many BI survivors have experienced/will experience.
The nature and quality of the man’s *heart* is readily apparent in the comfort he supplies to our community.
Susan October 26, 2010 at 3:30 pm
Thank you for your support with TBI!
Your feelings and truth have helped me as a parent beyond imagination. I am sad that one has to endure such a great defeat but on the other hand excited that God has chosen only the strong to move forward with TBI the gifts that have been given to each TBI survivor are unwrapped around the world because of great people like you.
Craig’s work on Second Chance to Live is a lifeline for those living with traumatic brain injury, as a survivor or a loved one.
May 27, 2010 3:40 pm
Craig’s work on Second Chance to Live is a lifeline for those living with traumatic brain injury, as a survivor or a loved one.
Craig is gifted and prolific. What stands out the most, for me, is that the articles are short and to the point. Reading long essays is challenging for me, but the articles at Second Chance to Live are manageable and the content is easy to follow and understand.
So far, after following Craig’s writings through a Twitter feed, for a couple of months, I have learned a great deal about brain injury and I find it comforting to know that someone else understands me, and what I’m going through, on a daily basis.
I highly recommend following Craig’s writings on Second Chance to Live – he is an asset to TBI on the Internet. Thank you Craig.
March 22, 2010 12:15:38 PM
I wish I had Second Chance to Live to read after my brain injury 33 years ago (December 31, 1976). Your words and insights are doing a great service by helping people with brain injuries and their families better understand many of the issues we live with on a daily basis. As many of us who live with a brain injury know there is no silver bullet or magic pill that will make things better – QUICK.
Our recovery is a slow process and Second Chance To Live makes this process a little easier. Second Chance to Live is a great tool for those of us who provide Peer Counseling to others with brain injuries. Your efforts also offer hope and hope is something we all need as we go through this process.
Hope is something that gets stripped away over time and without hope it makes the process of recovery harder and more complicated than it needs to be.
Thanks Second Chance to Live for providing hope!
Keep up the excellent work you have undertaken on this journey of helping to educate “all of us” about brain injury.
Ken Collins, Program Manager
San Juan Center for Independence
Gallup, New Mexico
I had a TBI on 9/16/07, as the result of a car accident. I was airlifted to a hospital and my broken bones were repaired there. Several other body parts required medical attention and after coming out of my coma I was transferred to a nursing home/rehab facility. I wasn’t made aware of my TBI until two and a half months after the fact. I knew that I wasn’t “right” but I didn’t know why. I spoke slowly and had trouble putting my words together among a multitude of other thoughts, behaviors and physical changes that I’d not experienced before. I’d always thought that the saying “Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most” was funny. It was no longer funny to me, it was too true of me! I’d re-learned how to eat, walk, and talk. Now it was time to really use my head. Somebody had brought my laptop computer to my room. “The old me” used to read and write a lot on my laptop. After months of not using my computer and having memory problems, I found that I had a great deal of difficulty just trying to remember stuff like my user names and passwords. It was then that I realized that I had to start all over. After I rediscovered the benefits my computer had provided, I knew that I had to learn more about brain injury. Family and friends made a point of saying that I was given a second chance to live. I then learned about brain injuries and came across the Second Chance To Live website. I had finally found what I didn’t know existed; a candid website written by a brain injury survivor. Craig’s honesty and candor and insights have kept me grounded. I believe that God blessed me in a very personal way by letting me be exposed to a real life guy with a BI(Craig) that experiences hardships, successes, disappointments, self-doubt and self-discovery in everyday life. Craig’s personal stories provide insight for living every day life. Thank you for using your giftedness to help me.
I came across Second Chance To Live as I was researching for a link regarding the “identified patient.” I was writing a blog regarding my own journey and recovery from neglect, and spiritual/emotional/verbal trauma and abuse; thus my search for a link. I wanted a link that was heartfelt, validating, informational, and empowering. I found several links and looked them over. One of Craig’s web post deeply resonated with me and I picked that particular article as the reference link on my blog. At the time, I also read other articles on Second Chance To Live. Shortly thereafter I met Craig via email and we have exchanged correspondence on and off. His correspondence has been genuine, respectful, down-to-earth, and inspiring.
I am not challenged with a traumatic brain injury, yet Craig’s sharings are helpful for trauma across the board; not only traumatic brain injury. I find his approach and empathy, mixed with responsibility and valuable tools to help a sufferer learn to live again, empowering. I refer to his sharings from time to time to assist me in my own continued journey of re-discovery of life.
With deep gratitude and hope,
Carol Welch 2009 /10 /11 10:51 pm
Sometimes when we least expect it, we are blessed to cross paths with an authentic being who has the ability to leave a lasting deposit of love in our hearts as well as in our lives. Craig Phillips is such a person. Like many others who have written, I have had several brain injuries and complex PTSD. One day I found Craig in my email..I do not know how he got there…neither did he. Divine intervention I suspect. I was fighting for my life. My will to live was gone to the point where I had experienced a full life review while in a state of deep prayer. Craig directed me to his writings and reading them helped me. Then he started writing to me every couple of days. A joy. Over the past six months more of my soul essence has returned, and I am starting to feel better. Craig gently confronts me when my thinking is distorted…and reminds me who and what I truly am..because I forgot…His peaceful spirit,unconditional love and compassion have played a huge role in my ongoing healing…I am no longer hopeless or helpless. I even laugh occasionally. Craig is a blessing to me, and to all who connect with him. The essence of holiness is love. Craig embodies love. When you have been blessed by Craig, be prepared..your life might just change. Mine has.
Lea Strongheart 2009 /5/28 11:00 pm
Craig has truly taken his second chance and made it a model for living with purpose. He is living with the essence of empowerment – embracing circumstance and creating from it a life which is not less but, more than it ever would have been.
I founded Dreams for Kids 20 year ago as a place for youth to be empowered and to live a life of infinite possibilities. There are those who seem compelled to remind us what we have lost and what we cannot do. Craig reminds us that life is lived in the moment with the gifts we are given and the opportunities which are ever present. His principles of acceptance and empowerment are text book examples of how to live a full live. In making each day a good day, you have made your life a good life Craig, and quite an extraordinary one.
Tom Tuohy 2009/4/10 4:14 pm
Dreams for Kids
I have only known Craig for a little a short time, but from the life experiences he has posted, he has a great attitude. Living with a disability is not always easy (I should know I have Spina Bifida), but Craig chooses to take the negative and turn it around to empower himself and others. I have added his blog to my own website, Empowering Jews With Disabilities. His message crosses all boundaries and religious beliefs. My life, and my friend’s lives that I have made through my own website are enriched by his online presence. He brings a voice to TBI that no one else does.
Marlee Kivens 2009/3/25 at 11:55 am
Empowering Jews With Disabilities
My name is Jenny and I suffered a serious closed head injury in December 2004 when the car that I was driving hit a tree. I was unconscious when they found me and I wasn’t expected to survive the night. I spent 9 months in a rehabilitation hospital learning how to walk, talk, swallow & eat & use my fine motor skills again. 4 years later and I’m much better than I was, but I’m still not there yet.
Talk about a challenge!
I live in the small town of Batemans Bay which is in Australia. Batemans Bay is about 5 hours down the coast from Sydney in New South Wales and I felt totally alone until I found Second Chance to Live.
Almost 4 years into my new life as a brain injured soul a social worker gave me the link to Second Chance to Live.
This is the best and most personal site that I’ve ever come across and I wish to applaud the creator (Craig J Phillips) for his tireless efforts in creating articles and offering unconditional support and encouragement to anyone involved in some way with a brain injury.
There is no particular story that stands out to me as I quite often find myself agreeing with what he says. He has a way of articulating what many BI survivors are thinking.
Craig (the creator) did say one thing that has made a huge difference in the way in which I live my life though. That statement will always stay with me. He said “life is for living, not merely surviving”. When I read that statement I realized that in the 4 years since my accident I had been hiding away from the world and just surviving, when I needed to be out there living my new life. I have been doing just that ever since and it has made a big difference to how I feel about my life.
His words of encouragement and first hand experience have helped me enormously, so thank you for creating this site offering encouragement. Many people would feel “doomed” and think that the best of their life is over (I know that I once did), but you encourage people to make the most of their deficits/limitations and to use them as best they can to create a fantastic new life.
Thank you Craig.
He inspires me to remember that having a brain injury just makes me different and that I need to accept who I am and create a wonderful life for myself based on my capabilities.
Craig suffered a brain injury over 40 years ago, so he has lots and lots of practical experience.
He is more than happy to give unconditional support and encouragement, and I’ve found his articles to be a valuable reminder that I’m a special & unique person.
I urge you to tell people about this site as it is by far the best brain injury site that I’ve ever encountered.
Thanks Craig for creating Second Chance to Live.
Jen 2009 /2/15 at 6:58 pm
Lori aka: RisibleGirl
This guy is simply awesome
I found my way to the “Second Chance to Live” site while doing searches on traumatic brain injury. The author of the site, Craig J. Phillips, is nothing short of an inspiration to me.
I think that anyone can benefit from his posts, whether it’s someone with TBI or another chronic illness. It is not an exaggeration to say that I always take time to savor what I’ve just read after reading one of his latest posts.
I especially appreciate that he knows what having TBI is like and oftentimes his posts are something that I really needed to read right at that moment.
As I previously wrote- even if you don’t have TBI, I think anyone can benefit from his posts. He’s somehow able show me rainbows while acknowledging the dark clouds. I can’t think of any other way to describe it.
That’s an awesome gift.
What a great inspiration for people everywhere to keep trying even though life may not be easy or what they want. I had something similar called ocular kerotitis and lost the vision completely in one eye and partially in the other due to a sulfa drug reaction. The doctors weren’t sure if I would get my vision back partially or completely. It is enough on top of the already difficult day to day living to know that God is putting more on your plate. It is definitely how you as an individual choose to deal with it and any other situation life throws at you. Will you fall and not be able to go on or is just another part of life? I recovered completely and take it not only as a learning experience but also a wake up to be appreciative of my vision and the world I can see around me. Craig is incredible at drawing the best out of any terrible situation. It is part of life, so accept it and move on the best you can. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!
From Living Life on Life’s Terms and Winning, 2008/09/05 at 4:20 PM
thanks Craig, i read a couple more of your articles (it may take me a little time to get through them all) i still feel sad and a bit alone but knowing that some one out there ‘gets it’ and more importantly ‘gets me’ helps a whole lot more than you may realise and now i’m crying AGAIN. thank you for your encouragement, you are a special person
From The Measure of a Champion, 2008/03/04 at 9:52 PM
Hi Craig, Jan here.
From what I have read on your site so far, you do much more than motivate, encourage and empower your readers.
In my eyes, you are more like the Beacon of Light emitting from a Lighthouse, beaming in the darkness, to show the way to those of us who feel lost in the sea of uncertainty….
I thank you, for shining out to me… Jan
Sandy Caudell said
I stumbled on the “Second Chance to Live” website in the course of searching for links that would benefit the stroke and TBI survivors that visit our site at the Aphasia Hope Foundation. I was blessed by reading this site! Craig Phillips, Creator and Author of Second Chance to Live has a message for all people, those who have suffered by traumatic and life-changing events and for those that care for or about those who have suffered in this way. Truly his message is a universal one. I highly recommend this site!
Brain Injury Association of Niagara
Normandy Resource Centre, 111 Church Street
St. Catharines, Ontario L2R 3C9
Phone: 905 984-5058 Fax: 905 984-5354
Website: niagara.com/bian Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
September 4, 2008
Craig J. Phillips
Subject: Second Chance to Live
As program director for The Brain Injury Association of Niagara, one of my responsibilities is to serve as facilitator for the peer groups for individuals who have sustained an acquired brain injury.
We appreciate your expressed consent to allow us to share a selection of the articles in your Second Chance to Live blog with our participants.
Craig you personify not only what it is like for individuals who have sustained brain injury, but more importantly, to strive to be the best you can be, and make the most of your talents and gifts that you so generously share through the process of reciprocity…….by giving back so others may learn………families, caregivers, and especially providing enlightenment for those individuals who have sustained brain injury, who may identify, learn and gain wisdom from your insightful writing. It is important for us to promote awareness about brain injury as this does not resonate with the general public, unless it has touched their lives on a personal basis, as opposed to the topic of cancer, or diabetes for example.
You serve as a beacon to show the way……….reminding us that we do have control over the choices that we make…how we choose to act as oppose to react, maintaining a positive attitude and “by” not being limited by our circumstances or situation but encouraging us to look at our possibilities. Living life one day at a time and applying these strategies become an integral component in order for us to continue to moving forward in our personal journey post injury and that there is life after brain injury with many possibilities yet to unfold.
Your inspirational blog provides opportunities for others to abstract and apply some of these positive messages in their daily lives, and we hope that you will continue to share your messages of hope and encouragement by inspiring others to strive to new levels of achievement by turning adversity into opportunity! While we cannot change the direction of the wind, we can adjust our sails to meet the winds of change. Craig you remind us that those who weather change best are those who choose to embrace and adapt to it. Your inspirational messages continue to inspire others to chart their own course.
Kindest personal regards,
Pat Dracup, Program Director
Hinds Feet Farm
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 2842, Street Address: 14625 Black Farms Road Huntersville, NC, 28070-2842 Office (704) 992-1424 Fax (704) 992-1423 http://www.HindsFeetFarm.org
To Whom It May Concern:
This open letter endorses the powerful message Mr. Craig Phillips, MRC, BA, eloquently writes about as creator and author of the website, Second Chance to Live, (http://secondchancetolive.wordpress.com/), and speaks about as an advocate and motivational speaker for people living with brain injury. Hinds’ Feet Farm is thankful that Mr. Phillips is part of our innovative, post-rehabilitation, community-based, day program as a contributing educator to our community.
The Hinds’ Feet Farm Day Program is a paradigm shift from the traditional medical, treatment, model for people living with brain injury, to a model that embraces a holistic health and wellness orientation, empowering members toward occupation and meaning in life post injury. Hinds’ Feet Farm is a person-centered, member empowered, self-determined, free choice, conceptualized and driven program. Members are self governing through the fluidity of the program by self-designing opportunities to engage in reestablishing and empowering occupation. Program staff, family and professional caregivers, in-kind community volunteers and student interns are guides for members in opportunities for exploration, discovery, confidence and self-esteem in their new identity and meaning in life post-injury.
Hinds’ Feet Farm initially invited Mr. Phillips to be a one time, guest speaker at our program. However, after hearing his message of hope and inspiration, members of our brain injury community wanted to hear more of how they too could embrace a second chance to live. With the driving force of triumph and celebration of the human spirit post brain injury, Mr. Phillips joins us monthly to share his life’s wisdom. Mr. Phillips’ is a peer mentor and life coach cheering our members on towards greater life fulfillment.
Mr. Phillips has a unique role in the local brain injury community of North Carolina and internationally, as a person living with a brain injury and as a professional in the rehabilitation counseling field. He knows first hand the brain injury continuum of care both as a survivor, and as a “thrivor”. My Phillips experience, strength and hope as a traumatic brain injury survivor and a masters level rehabilitation counselor enables him to immediately identify with both survivors and professionals simultaneously.
Mr. Phillips tailors each of his monthly session to our community’s needs and based on his blog postings, such as The Flight of the Butterfly, Traumatic Brain Injury and Isolation, What is my Destiny?. Mr. Phillips invites the members of our brain injury community toward a greater quality of life and their own second chance to live through well formatted presentations, opportunities for introspection to rediscovering one’s mission and vision in life through meaning and purpose, employing professional counseling skills, harnessing the power of group dynamics and process. Ever sensitive to and conscientious of his audience, Mr. Phillips welcomes the immediacy of feedback and lively dialogue. Mr. Phillips’ heartfelt message is masterfully crafted, awakens his audience to “carpe diem,” to pursue our dreams, and to live life to the fullest.
Hinds’ Feet Farm endorses and appreciates Mr. Phillips’ message that invites and empowers persons living with brain injury toward their own health and balance in their life journey. We are thankful for our reciprocal relationship with Mr. Phillips. Thank you Craig!
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
Martin B. Foil III, CBIS
William P. DeGrauw, MS, CRC, CCM, CBIS
Day Program Director