Man on the road to recovery following crash and traumatic brain injury

PHOENIX (KSAZ) -- The lives of one local family changed in an instant. That moment came, when the father of that family was hit by a car while walking home. The man, Brian Tamburrelli, suffered a traumatic brain injury and has been in the hospital ever since that fateful day on February 22.

On that cool winter night, Brian was hit by a car after a work function. Since then, they've been fighting to get back to their normal.  

"We live right near Top Golf in Gilbert, and it was nice out so he decided to walk home and he was hit by a car walking home," said Brian's wife, Jenna Tamburrelli.  

On the outside, Brian suffered a few scuffs and scrapes, but on the inside, things were unfortunately much worse. The accident left Brain with a Traumatic Brain Injury, with most of the damage to the back and the left side of his brain. Since the accident, Brian has been in the hospital. Meanwhile, Jenna and their two kids, six-year-old Carducci and four-year-old Duelli have never left Brian's side. 

"My six-year-old understands a little more than the four-year-old, like, what's going on, but it's really tough," said Jenna. "It's like being a single parent, but not even having that other person to talk to. It's hard, it's really hard."

Brian is now at Barrow Neurological Institute, trying to re-learn how to do what most of us take for granted.

Things like learning to eat by himself...

"If I try to feed him now, he'll actually tap my hand and take the spoon or fork out of my hand, and feed himself, which is huge," said Jenna. "That independence for somebody like him in his position is a huge thing for him."

...learning to talk again...

"The boys, I mean, they're young, so it's daddy, daddy, and they want to tell him something," said Jenna. "They don't get that he's not going to respond and say 'yea'. They've had to learn how to say dad, and continue with the story they want to tell."

...and learning to walk again. 

His progression, the small victories, are keeping Jenna going.   

"I don't give up, I have my moments when I want to, but now I look at him, and now he lights up with the boys and I know that he's in there, when he laughs with us," said Jenna.

What keeps Brian going are his his family, reminders of his favorite things filling his room, all things ASU, and giving him a boost of energy during therapy, his favorite band, Metallica. 

"From the beginning, even in the TICU before he was fully awake, we could play music like Metallica and I played our wedding song, and he's taping to the beat even before he was completely conscious," said Jenna.

Medically speaking, it's unknown what the future looks like for Brian, but what's is for sure is that the Tamburrelli family will continue to fight, and never give up. 

"He's my husband. I'm not going anywhere," said Jenna. "It's in sickness and in health, and it's not the picture I've envisioned at all. I pictured us growing old together and we still will. It's just going to look a little different and that's OK, I'm OK with that. I love him. He's my everything, my best friend."

Jenna tells us they're paying for Brian's treatment out of pocket because insurance isn't covering it.


Team Tambo GoFundMe
https://www.gofundme.com/teamtambo

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