Brian Kelly Victim Becomes An Advocate 2009: T Amazing

Brian Kelly Victim becomes an advocate

T he only thing more amazing than the complexity of the human brain is the courage of the human heart.
Brian Kelly’s story is about both of these things and a nightmarish event that most Orland Park residents will never forget. On Dec. 26, 2001, the Nissan Sentra that Kelly was driving was crushed by the Orland Park Public Library bookmobile, a 13-ton, 35-foot-long Winnebago-style vehicle. He had suffered a traumatic brain injury. For 23 days he remained in a coma. The doctors at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was taken after the accident, were never able to talk to him. Mick Kelly, his father, recalls that when Brian came home he was worse than an infant. “An infant knows how to feed at its mother’s breast,” the elder Kelly explained. “Brian couldn’t eat. He didn’t know how to chew his food. It would just sit in his mouth. He was fed through a tube in his stomach. He couldn’t walk. He couldn’t talk.”
Brian Kelly, a Sandburg High School graduate, had been a student representative on the Moraine Valley Community College board and an advance man for President Bill Clinton in 1999 and for Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000.

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