I’ve lived in San Diego for my entire life and I’ve never seen a snowstorm like the one that caught us all by surprise the winter of 2007. Living in San Diego, I had certainly seen snow before, but we only ever get a couple of inches at a time and I was used to vacationing in Aspen or Denver where the snow was always much heavier.
In early December 2007, the news let us know we should expect a couple of inches of snow one morning, so I wasn’t really concerned, as that was actually pretty common for that time of year. I went about my business just like usual, except that I was very careful as I drove to work and parked my car in the parking garage. It had just started snowing as I made my way into the office.
Eight hours later when I left, the roads were much worse than I was expecting, and as I made my way back to the garage, I figured I would stop in at my favorite coffee shop right down the block and grab a hot cup of cocoa for my drive home. Little did I know that my entire life would change when I made that decision.
As I said, where I live, snow isn’t the norm, but it definitely isn’t some rare occurrence, and you would think since it had been snowing all day, businesses who remained open would have made sure to keep their walkways snow-free and de-iced with ice melt.
Unfortunately though, this coffee shop had shoveled outside, but they did nothing to clean up the melted snow puddles that formed right at the doorway. When I entered into the coffee shop and stepped forward, it was then that I slipped on a puddle of this melted snow and hit my head on both the door and the pavement.
I was knocked unconscious and remember waking up in the ambulance asking what had happened to me. It turns out I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury that permanently damaged the portion of my brain that controls your motor skills. I was told to consult with a head injury attorney but, unfortunately, did not realize how severe my injuries were until it was too late to take legal action against the coffee shop.
These days, I find it difficult to walk without a walker at only 64 years old, I have constant pain in my back and neck, and struggle to hold a pen to write my grandchildren letters as I did when they were young.
To anyone out there who might have been injured due to a fall, trust me when I say you should do everything you can to be repaid from the person responsible, otherwise you’ll be like me . . . in a mountain of debt more than a decade later and struggling just to live life normally.