Welcome to the website of Van Brooks, a series of monthly blogs. After suffering a spinal cord injury my junior year in high school, which left me paralyzed from the neck down, much of my life's successes have been on public display. The purpose of these blogs are to share the untold stories of the trials and tribulations I had to overcome during my journey to recovery and obtaining success. I will be completely vulnerable by exposing my failures, feelings, frustrations, and fears. I will reveal conversations with myself that got me through a state of depression and loneliness. I will talk about how I was completely broken with no faith and how I was able to transform and turn my life around. I will also talk about how the death of my cousin/best friend and many other factors motivate me more than you can imagine.  Lastly, I will explain how all of these things helped me find God’s purpose for my life and how he’s using me as a vessel to do His will. It is my hope that with this blog many will be inspired to fight through whatever they may be going though because after all “a person isn’t defeated when they lose, they’re defeated when they give up”.

Okay, here’s  disclaimer about the grammarI know it but I will not always follow the rules in this blog. The purpose is to truly paint the picture to help you visualize and put yourself in my state of mind during that time in my life I’ll be speaking of.

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A Prisoner in my Own Body


“Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Brooks, your son has crushed his C5 & C6 vertebrae and is paralyzed from the neck down...”

As I slowly opened my eyes, from what I thought was a nightmare, I asked myself, “Did I just hear confirmation that I really did break my neck”? Now completely awake, I laid stiff in a small hospital bed, with railings on both sides, facing the door. There were medical machines behind me, a countertop to my left, two chairs to my right, and my parents standing a few feet away from the foot of my bed. Trying to move and call out to my parents, who were only steps away standing at the sliding glass doors to my room speaking with a team of doctors, I burst into tears.

Still in disbelief, I tried harder and harder to move and call out to my parents. “Please someone turn around, why can’t you hear me? Mom…dad, please...I need you,” I cried out! NOTHING, NO SOUND, as I mouthed the words repeatedly.  

With tears flowing from eyes like a waterfall, I laid there as a prisoner in my own body. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t feel, I had a tracheostomy tube, as well as more tubes in my nose, and mouth. I couldn’t even breathe on my own and relied on a medical ventilator. “What am I going to do now,” I thought to myself? “I ...

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