Biplob Mazumder: Am I a Victim? or Victor! A testimony of one man's journey to turn tragedy into triumph

"PTSD is a complicated illness but recovery is my responsibility and I made this choice: Despite my injury I want to be unstoppable!!"

“Worry, anxiety and insecurity can’t protect you Tomorrow but will steal your Joy & journey Today. So, don’t worry, be happy and enjoy your day “.

At the time, I was living in CFB North Bay. On a Saturday morning, May 5th, 2012 I was with a co-worker from DND visiting Toronto after I got the permission from the base chain of command (COC).

We left North Bay early in the morning and reached Toronto at noon. We spent our day for shopping, having good lunch and some other responsibilities. One of the main reasons I was traveling on that day, December 4th, 2011 I got married overseas and my wife planned to visit me during the summer of that year 2012. So, I came with my DND friend, and were making some preparation for us (me and my wife) before we move to our own house. After a busy long day at 6 pm we decided to head back to our base. I drove few hours before we stopped at Muskoka area in Ontario, filled the gas tank and had some coffee time at Tim Horton’s.

We started again for North Bay and thinking of our next plan on Sunday. Next day we would go to Sudbury, “spend our time in the countryside, watch some lake views and enjoy the music festival in Sudbury”.

Around 9.30 pm when we were close to base, a pregnant moose was crossing the Highway 11 to deliver the baby. Moose hit my car very badly and put both of us in a coma. Somebody behind us on the Highway 11 noticed the accident and called 911. OPP police came immediately on the accident spot and rescued us.

My situation was so bad, I was air lifted to Ottawa General Hospital and was in coma for six weeks. After I got out from the coma, I was transferred to Sudbury General Hospital in the Impatient Brain Injury Unit, and couple of months I was in Sudbury General Hospital.

During my time in impatient unit I was very down and depressed, asking myself “why me, why me”. I also felt very lonely and insecure with my life and future outcome. At that time, another old brain injured patient from Northern Ontario, Thunder Bay was living in the same floor next to my room. She started provoking in different ways, started calling me, “Taleban and told other patients not to talk to me. I may steal their money and valuable stuff”.

After brain injury, coma and vision lost made me very uncomfortable with my new situation. This lady patient added extra stress on me and made me out of control. Then I took some unsuccessful suicide attempts and tried to kill myself in the hospital.

Doctors at the Sudbury General Hospital arranged some medical meetings and felt still I need more medical helps for the traumatic brain injury (TBI) recovery. Then they also discussed with the DND and transferred me to Toronto Rehab as an outpatient client from Sudbury General Hospital.

Before accident I was quite active with different sports. I was an Army marathon runner for the military. I was also part of the military soccer, volleyball, and badminton teams. I played in their regional and national level tournaments.

Beside sports, I was also member of the “Speakers Bureau Of Canada” as a guest speaker, promoting DND to school, college and university students, and how they can be part of Canadian Forces – help themselves as a career and help the country as well.

After the car accident, I lost one eye vision, lost big part of the brain cognitive functions, and some other mental and physical health strengths. I lost my full-time career with the DND and lost driving rights with DND and civilian world.

I believe my new reality and identity gave me some disabilities and also gave me new abilities. “When you have no other options or alternatives you find your best abilities and best strengths. And I believe when one door is close, new door opens up”.

My interests are lost, motivations are gone, and happiness of my life is over. Now my new life is completely different. Now new “Biplob Mazumder is searching, and trying to rebuild himself, and same time rediscovering himself with the new life and new reality”.

Now my plan - want to dedicate my time and life for veterans, injured soldiers and for traumatic brain injured people. Help them with their TBI recovery and suicidal attempts (increase HHA – Happy and Hopeful Again or TYBS – Train Your Brain for Survival) and inspire them somehow with their interests. One day I would like to hear from them “because of you I didn’t give up and moved forward with my life and trying to helping others”.

I want to make my personal journey:

“Test into Testimony”,
“Mess into Message”
“Trial into Triumph”
“Regret into Rejoice”

Personal believe – “Where there is no struggle, there is no Strength” – time and pressure made Coal into Diamond, and Sand into Pearl”!

This life changing event didn’t defeat me or destroy me rather defining me with a purpose “who I am today and want to be in the near future”. For sure, new life experience is making me “better & stronger than yesterday”.

Everybody is genius, “we need some chance to change our life and others So we can make some good choice to show our skills”.

MFRC is doing an excellent job, bringing knowledge & experience together and taking some attempts – caring and sharing for current soldiers and veterans and their families.

This is my memoir and hope you will like my testimony.

Biplob Mazumder