Colter Pollock is an amazing, energetic, brave boy who suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury that
occurred during a tragic fall from his 2nd story bedroom window. On July 7, 2014, after a weekend of
camping, the evening was supposed to be spent winding down, but became our worst nightmare.
Five year old Colter was in timeout in his bedroom after having poor behavior at the dinner table. At
that time, his 8 year old sister, Jayden, and 2 year brother, Jaxon, were playing in the backyard while I
was cleaning up supper. The sliding glass door was open with a slight breeze coming through and I could hear
and see Jayden and Jaxon using their imaginations playing away. As I was just about to walk upstairs to
talk to Colter about his manners at dinnertime, the unimaginable happen. I heard a loud fall that
sounded like an egg cracking. Immediately, I ran outside to see Colter lifeless, lips turning blue lying on
his back on the concrete patio. Next to Colter was the window screen.
Frantically, I urged my daughter to run and get help while I retrieved my phone inside and called 911. I was in such panic that I almost
forgot my password to unlock my phone and contemplated even what number to dial. When the
responder answered I yelled our address and repeated it twice. At about this
time, Jayden came running back saying our neighbors weren’t home. I yelled, “Go across the street to
…” I couldn’t even find the words to remember the names of our neighbors. While on the
phone with 911, I was shaking badly and I wasn’t sure while checking Colter’s wrist if he even had a
pulse. All I knew was that his lips was turning blue and he wasn’t moving. Just as I was hearing the
sirens, Jayden returned with a neighbor who calmly and quickly performed CPR on Colter
and confirmed that he did have a faint pulse. It’s been over 3 years and there’s isn’t a day where I don’t
think of that monstrous nightmare. At times, it feels like it just happened yesterday…..raw but almost
Later at the ER, we learned that he had traumatic damage to his skull with severe brain swelling along
with a bleed and fixed, non-reactive, dilated pupils. Miraculously, he did not break or damage anything
else - not even a scratch. All I could think about was whether or not he would survive. It never even
crossed my mind about what a brain injury entailed. Later that evening, we would find out that Colter
suffered a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury along with a secondary diagnosis of left frontal temporal lobe
contusion and a small subarachnoid hemorrhage.
After being life-flighted in a helicopter to Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, Colorado, I was told by
neurosurgeon, Dr. Kimball that Colter was a very sick boy and the chances of survival were slim. He
explained that Colter would need a left frontotemporoparietal hemicraniectomy for subdural hematoma
evacuation to relieve the swelling in his brain. The only glimpse of hope that he gave me was when
he said he had performed a craniotomy over 100 times and that he hasn’t lost anyone yet. Signing
consent papers that one of the outcomes was death left me both hopeless and ill.
Over the next 4 months, Colter’s journey became a list of unknowns. The questions were
never ending - Will he survive? When will he open his eyes? When will I hear his voice? Will he have
his memory? Would he walk? How would he be cognitively?
Colter spent 3 weeks at Swedish Medical Center then was transferred to the rehab unit of the Children’s
Hospital in Colorado. It was at Children’s Hospital where Colter began learning all life’s simple, basic
skills again. We basically witnessed all of his milestones twice. At times, it felt like he would never be
“normal” again. But, what I didn’t know then that I know now, is that not only is TBI an invisible,
uneducated injury, but that he would never 100% recover. We would all have a new normal.
Colter is purely God’s miracle. As he was in an induced coma, his neurosurgeon, Dr. Kimball said that
Colter’s life will be a marathon. In the past 3 years I often come back to the word, “marathon.” Colter
has defied the odds in his lifelong journey thus far. However, this marathon has not been an easy race.
We have hit a lot of bumps along the way and are still learning how we can pace him on his journey.
One of the hardest parts of his injury is that he looks and appears to be normal, and it is easy for his
behaviors to be misinterpreted. Hard days are hard, but we are blessed and very proud of his
Currently, Colter is still a determined 8 year old, second grade boy that loves his sports, is great at math
and reading, and plans to grow up working with animals.
We continue to not only advocate window fall prevention, but raises awareness on brain injuries and
preventable accidents. It is our hope that we can prevent these types of accidents to happen.