Brain Injury Gives Man A Second Chance To Be Kind | KUER 90.1

Brain Injury Gives Man A Second Chance To Be Kind

Apr 27, 2012
Originally published on April 27, 2012 5:24 am

Four years ago, Marco Ferreira was riding his motorcycle down an isolated road in Los Angeles when he hit some grout and had an accident.

Though he was wearing a full helmet, leather pants and jacket, Ferreira suffered a traumatic brain injury.

When he woke from a six-week coma, his wife, Wendy Tucker, was there.

"You didn't walk, you didn't talk, and you couldn't feed yourself for seven months," she says during a visit with the 48-year-old Ferreira to StoryCorps in San Francisco. "Since then, it's just been getting better all the time."

But Ferreira, a former lawyer, remembers nothing from the time of the accident and doesn't feel like he's getting better.

"My mind, I feel, is so damaged; it's kind of made my life very hard to live, really," he says. "I tried to commit suicide, because I thought that I'd lost so much of my life, why be alive? Why? So I took a drug overdose, but you took me to the hospital."

When the 52-year-old Tucker asks her husband if he's sorry she saved his life, however, he says no.

"You did the right thing," Ferreira says. "You saved my life, and you're still saving it. Every day you save it."

Tucker, who is also an attorney, reminds her husband that before the accident, he was slightly sarcastic.

"You were always the guy known for the quick wit," she says. "Do you feel that now you're kinder in some way than you were before?"

"Absolutely, I am," Ferreira tells his wife. "Absolutely."

Before the accident, he was salty to their nieces. Tucker says that even though Ferreira's always loved them, before the accident, he "didn't have the openness to them."

"They bugged me before," he says with a laugh. "All kids bugged me before the accident, that's the weird thing. I wouldn't even invite people to our house because they have kids, for Christ's sake. I wouldn't do it. And now, I love my nieces. I love those girls.

"This is my second chance to be good and kind," Ferreira says. "Thank you very much for all your love."

Ferreira and Tucker have been married since 2001.

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Katie Simon.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On Fridays we hear from StoryCorps, the project that brings friends and family together to record interviews with each other. And today, we'll hear from Wendy Tucker and her husband.

MARCO FERREIRA: My name is Marco Ferreira. I had a motorcycle accident, and I suffered a traumatic brain injury.

INSKEEP: That accident happened in 2008. And when Marco came out of a six-week coma, his wife, Wendy, was there.

WENDY TUCKER: You didn't walk, you didn't talk, and you couldn't feed yourself for seven months. Since then, it's just been getting better all the time. But you don't feel like you're getting better, right?

FERREIRA: To be honest, no. My mind, I feel, is so damaged; it's kind of made my life very hard to live, really. I tried to commit suicide because I thought that I'd lost so much of my life. Why be alive? Why? So I took a drug overdose, but you took me to the hospital.

TUCKER: Are you ever sorry that I saved your life?

FERREIRA: No, not at all. No, you did the right thing. You saved my life, and you're still saving it. Every day, you save it.

TUCKER: So before your accident, you were a little sarcastic.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FERREIRA: Yeah.

TUCKER: You were always the guy that was known for the quick wit. Do you feel that now you're kinder, in some way, than you were before?

FERREIRA: Absolutely, I am. Absolutely.

TUCKER: I have to say that when we see our nieces, even though I know you've always loved them, you didn't have the openness to them before your accident.

FERREIRA: They bugged me before.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FERREIRA: All kids bugged me before the accident, that's the weird thing. I wouldn't even invite people to our house because they had kids, for Christ's sake. I wouldn't do it. And now I love my nieces. I love those girls. This is my second chance to be good and kind.

TUCKER: I love you very much.

FERREIRA: Thank you very much for all your love.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Marco Ferreira with his wife, Wendy Tucker, at StoryCorps in San Francisco. Their conversation will be archived with all the others, at the Library of Congress. And you can hear more conversations from StoryCorps at npr.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.