“It literally takes a second to change the course of your life, but I feel so grateful to be alive and able to talk about my crash,” says Steve Lanys-Morris.
In 2010, Steve, an education student at Trent University, was driving into Peterborough to have dinner with friends. In response to a text, Steve picked up his phone and typed “I’m on my w–.”
He never completed the word. A car ahead of him had stopped to turn left. Steve, unable to stop in time, swerved into oncoming traffic and collided head-on with another vehicle.
At the scene, Steve was unconscious and one of his thighbones was protruding from his left leg. Paramedics concluded the 28-year-old had suffered a severe brain injury, and that his femur was broken in two places.
Steve was airlifted to Sunnybrook. When he was stabilized in the trauma bay he had an operation on his leg and was admitted to our Critical Care Unit. Steve remained in a coma for 19 days. He needed another operation, and in total spent almost two months at Sunnybrook before being discharged home. Steve then began his long rehabilitation journey first as an inpatient where he learned to walk again, then as an outpatient.
Today, Steve still deals with the effects of his injuries. He aims to educate the general public about brain injury, and through Sunnybrook’s P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) Program, Steve speaks to junior high and high school students about the dangers of distracted driving. He focuses on advocating for brain injury and sharing his story.
“I concentrate on the positive and believe disabled people can live a full, beautiful, and meaningful life,” says Steve. “I can’t change the past, but I hope in sharing my story I can prevent others from picking up their phone while driving. No text is ever worth it.”