On July 1st 2010, Ryan Finneran was on his way to a travel baseball tournament during his senior year of high school with a friend. After proceeding through a four-way intersection, they were struck by an SUV on the passenger side where Ryan was seated. Fortunately Ryan’s friend was not physically hurt, however Ryan was in a much serious condition. First responders used the “Jaws-of-Life” to reach Ryan within the car, and they found that he was not breathing or conscious. Ryan was then airlifted by helicopter to the University of Michigan’s Mott’s Children’s Hospital while using a ventilator to breathe. He was admitted to the ICU unit and suffered a diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury, a bruised spleen and liver, and a cut above his right eyebrow. Ryan slipped into a coma from the injury for and undetermined amount of time, and only had a 5% chance of ever awakening. Luckily, he awoke 17 days later and began his recovery process.
Ryan’s Road to Recovery
After awakening from his coma, Ryan went through intense physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy to regain basic skills that had been lost due to the accident. Ryan also experienced many stages of behavior that traumatic brain injury survivors endure, such as impulsive and aggressive behavior. Ryan dedicated every day to becoming stronger both mentally and physically, and after consistent therapy and progress, Ryan was able to be discharged from the hospital 49 days later. He continued out-patient therapy, and now Ryan has made a remarkable full recovery. Ryan has since graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree double majoring in marketing and logistics, and is also currently working with traumatic brain injury survivors.
The Beginning of a Foundation
The accident became a defining moment for the Finneran family, as tragedy not only struck Ryan but also his loved ones. After seeing the struggles and hardships that both Ryan and the Finneran family went through, Matthew Finneran began to sell t-shirts and bracelets to help offset the financial burden of Ryan’s medical bills. After success and much support from the community, Matthew and his siblings: Ryan, Shannon, and Melissa, along with fellow friend Brendan Evans and his parents Michelle and Kevin Finneran decided to turn the tragic event into a more positive outcome, and created Finn Foundation Incorporated (formally known as Team Finn and The Finn Foundation). Finn Foundation Incorporated was established as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2012, and is located in South Lyon, Michigan. The foundation is designed to provide support to traumatic brain injury survivors and their loved ones, while also giving back to the community.