Mike Coyle will be a guest speaker at the Toronto’s 5th Annual Hawaiian Oyster Odyssey on February 2
At the age of 15, Mike Coyle was struck by a car while crossing a street in Toronto. The impact caused his head to shatter the car’s windshield. After the accident, Coyle was placed in a drug induced coma for 24 hours due to the hemorrhaging in his brain that the impact had caused.
Then a student at St. Michael’s College with an interest in hockey, Coyle had trouble in school after the accident and was forced to quit hockey altogether. He struggled to stay awake in class and had to work with a scribe and speech pathologist to keep up with his work. He eventually had to transfer to another school due to his struggles.
After 10 years of difficulty keeping organized, sleeping and achieving personal goals, Coyle finally accepted that he needed more assistance with his brain injury and sought counselling and the services of an occupational therapist.
Coyle, now 29, says, “Some days the effect of the accident is a heavy weight I have to carry, but it has turned out to be a positive thing. I look forward instead of dwelling on the past. The functions I lost or had impaired by my injury present challenges every day but I feel like I’m making up for that by using my experiences to help those going through a similar situation.”
It has been a difficult for journey for Coyle, but through determination and a strong support team, he has succeeded in becoming a teacher at a Toronto area school. These days, Coyle keeps himself on track by using tools like iPhone alarms to remind him of hourly tasks and events, taking pictures to help him remember things as well as using a voice recorder and emailing himself important details.
Knowing the difficulties that brain injury survivors’ face, Coyle now plans to use his experience to become a life coach for other survivors like him.
Coyle and other survivors will share their inspirational stories at each of the Odysseys starting in Toronto on February 2.