A life can change dramatically in a flash and sometimes for the best. On September 16, 2004, I, Dianna Bolen, was on my way to a bike fest in Las Vegas, NV on my 1993 Harley Davidson Sportster with 3 other bikers. For some unknown reason, and not even the highway patrol knows why, I went off the freeway, flew 100 feet, went over a barb wire fence, and landed in the desert ground with my bike on top of me. This accident happened in Arizona where wearing a helmet is optional. I was SMART and was wearing mine. I was airlifted to a Phoenix Hospital where I was taken immediately into surgery. While on the operating table the doctors called Code Blue three times. They had to put a titanium rod into my left leg and my ankle is held together by screws. As a result of my TBI, I was in a coma for 2 months. After awakening from my "sleep", I realized that my memory disappeared, all the way till "who knows when". After being released, I also realized that I lost my smell and taste. Overall, after going through a lot, I ended up in Fresno. I got hooked up to a TBI support group in Fresno. At the time I was not looking for anyone - just a support group. At a meeting, we were told about the first annual Walk For Thought that was going to be held in Bakersfield in March of 2008. The support group agreed to meet at the center in Fresno and carpool to Bakersfield. I ended up in the car of a funny man, named Michael Taylor, who would end up being my fiancé.
On Sunday, April 8, 1989, my day started off as normal as a day can start off for a Sheriff. I was advised of a burglar alarm that was going off at a market in Madera. I proceeded to the market when I was involved in my accident. A Bronco towing a boat, traveling 55 mph, smashed into my patrol car on the driver's side. I was flown to a hospital in Fresno where I was in a coma for 10 days. After awakening from my coma, I was released to my mom’s care. I was then enrolled into Neurological Retraining Center (N.R.C.). I was with N.R.C. until December 1989. Then I started putting my life together again. I started attending CORC meeting in Fresno. I was very active with CORC. Then February, 2008 I attended the 1st Annual Walk For Thought in Bakersfield. Since I had a good car and was able to drive with no problems, I volunteered to drive down to the Walk with 4 others in my car. That was the day I met Dianna Bolen and her service dog, Sierra. Little did I know, she was the answer to a prayer I made to God shortly after my new life with TBI started.
Now Dianna and Sierra are a big part of my life. All the way down and all the way back home, I kept looking in my rear view mirror at her, (and she has said to me that she never knew I was looking at her). After seeing each other for a few weeks, I volunteered my service (along with another TBI friend) and we built a redwood deck in the back of her condo. From that day on, we have never been separated. After a few months, I got down on my knees and proposed to her. She has told me several times that if Sierra didn’t approve of me, she would have to decline. Needless to say, Sierra is just as much a part of my life than she is to Dianna.
Michael & Dianna
We feel that if it wasn’t for the Walk For Thought in Bakersfield, we would have never gotten to know each other. We help each other to overcome the many obstacles we have to deal with since our accidents. We thank the California Brain Injury Association for organizing that awesome Walk that put us together and we will always have a special place in our "head" for that great Walk!