Imagine thinking you have it all, beauty, health, love, success and in just a moment lose it all... That's what happened to Brie Duval. The Australian woman was engaged to the love of her life and starting a new life with him abroad when a tragic accident flipped her life upside down and left her in a month-long coma.
When she woke up nothing was the same anymore nor would it ever be again. Brie shared her story and it has gained a lot of attention.
A Tragic Fall
Brie was living a happy life. She was engaged to marry her partner of four years and looking forward to a promising life full of opportunities. It all came crashing down when she fellfrom a parking garage after a night out with friends and suffered numerous injuries to her ribs, spine, and bones. She was rushed by helicopter to the hospital but unfortunately had to be placed on life support with a traumatic brain injury.
You would think that it's at those moments that the people you love most would come to your side. This isn't a way for them to prove their love to you but should rather be a natural desire out of their worry and care for you.
Losing All Memories, Except For One
Brie was in in a coma for four weeks and doctors told her mother that there was a high chance that she wouldn't survive the catastrophic injury. Yet by some miracle, she fought through and managed to improve her state even while unconscious.
She finally woke up but had lost her memories due to the brain injury. Although Brie didn't remember much of her life, her core memories started coming back bit by bit as she recovered.
One major detail in her life stood out thanks to the strong feelings she had associated with it: having a fiance for the past four years. However as she waited for a sign of him, he was nowhere to be seen.
Reaching Out To A Ghost
Finally, Brie's memories came back and she was able to put the pieces of her life back together. Now all she wanted was to talk to the love of her life and hear some reassurance. Brie explains: "I was finally given my phone and my first thought was to call him and just see if he knew what happened. He hadn't been to see me."
She tried to get a hold of him, calling him a few times, but he didn't respond to her calls and instead blocked her on every platform. Brie had no idea what happened to him.
The days passed and Brie still heard nothing from her husband to be, the same man that was about to vow to love her in sickness and in health. She was so confused and all she wanted was answers as she dealt with the pain of her recovery. Finally, a glimpse of an answer came, but it wasn't the one she was expecting:
"So I opened my phone going to message him when a message pops up from this woman that says I am now with [partner's name]. I have moved him out. He's now living with me and my son, please do not contact him." This was a complete shock for Brie.
The Heartbreak Of Confusion
To this day, Brie is still blocked by her now ex and has not had contact with him since."I have not heard from him since I have been in hospital, he's completely and utterly left me in the dust. So I don't even have closure as to why this happened."
Brie's heartbreak was fueled by confusion about how the man who supposedly loved her, could just leave her like that without even dignifying her with a reason. She believed her fiance was her soulmate: "After four years, I was incredibly surprised. We were best friends for years. I never thought in a million years this would happen," she said. "Especially at such an awful time in my life. I thought he was my soul mate, but I thought wrong."
Brie is still "incredibly hurt by his actions," which only makes it harder to recover.
The Effects Of Emotional Trauma
Brie hopes that with her brain injury experience she can at least raise awareness about the condition while working through the emotional trauma of waking up from a coma during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brie was completely on her own and couldn't have any visitors despite the risk that she could have never woken up:
"My mum and dad went to the government and asked for special permission to say goodbye to me as things were bad at that point. They refused them. So my mum told doctors in Canada to keep my life support on and do not under any circumstances turn that off, which they had to medically abide by,” explains Brie.
The Process Of Healing
Unlike her fiance, Brie's parents held on to hope that she would wake up and pick her life back up. Now Brie may physically be well again, but it could take her a lifetime to heal emotionally:
"It's been very hard mentally, there's definitely a bit of PTSD from everything that has happened, I'm just trying to sort through my emotions, going through the accident and then having that letdown of a relationship," she adds.
10% Chance At Life
Brie is an inspiration to us all. She beat all odds thanks to her will to live despite the circumstances. Her doctors mentioned that she only had a 10% chance of surviving. Thanks to the way her parents believed in her, she was put in an induced coma in order to aid her survival and she pushed through to make it back to our side.
The people that matter will always stay. Let this be a reminder that people come in and out of lives for a reason and when they leave we're probably better off as they no longer are serving our needs. Brie's biggest lesson in all of this was in learning to see the positives:
"The emotional toll of being so close to death has impacted me in a positive way," she said. "I am now so grateful for the little things in life that I took for granted and have so much more appreciation for life."
Letting Go Of Control
With situations like this, You get to a point of acceptance but only when you finally let go of your need to control the situation and its outcome and surrender yourself to the present situation so that you can get through it. That doesn't mean denying yourself your pain but rather choosing how to respond to it.
Brie explained: "I have no reason or closure as to why he did what he did. I just feel so hurt, I cannot explain the depth of the pain he has caused me." Yet, despite her pain, Brie has managed to find the silver lining.
Hopeful New Beginnings
To hear Brie's story in her own words, check out her video above. Brie has since moved back to Australia to be closer to her family and friends. She continues to use the very same platforms her ex blocked her on to raise awareness about her health condition:
"I never thought in a million years that my TikTok would go viral, I've had some really nice comments from people and at the end of the day, this is all about spreading awareness of TBI and brain injuries and just telling my story and my side of things."
Take Control Of Your Own Life
The incident has given her a new perspective, and hopeful outlook on life: "My experience has taught me that life is so frail and short," she added. "I now want to make the absolute most of my life and jam-pack it with as many memories as I can."
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