On November 22, 2009, while driving home from a friend’s house, the vehicle carrying musician Aaron and his best friend went airborne off the overpass of I-94, crashing down on the expressway below.

Aaron, a musician and producer just two weeks from his Specs Howard School of Media Arts graduation, was immediately rushed to Detroit Receiving Hospital, comatose with a traumatic brain injury. After two and a half weeks in that comatose state and with his condition stabilized, he was transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM), where he spent over a month in recovery. At that point Aaron directly moved into outpatient treatment at RIM’s Novi facility, closer to his mother’s home in Farmington Hills.

Following four and a half months of outpatient therapy, Aaron moved in with his father and returned to his interrupted musical career – remarkably completing and releasing a 21-one song, two-disc project, “One Man Mafia,” while also becoming involved with a community outreach movement focused on neighborhood food and housing.

Notwithstanding the challenges of his brain injury and its physical, cognitive, and emotional toll, Aaron combined his musical, organizational, outreach skills and experience to build a successful company known as “7mile Showstoppa Tha King.” Artist management and development were his initial strengths, along with original song composition, all of which culminated in performing as an opening act for established artists from 2011 to today. For most individuals, let alone TBI survivors, that would be a satisfying accomplishment, but persistent on seeking even further challenges, Aaron became involved in the faith-based community movement “Motorcity Resuscitate,” which allowed him to reach new avenues combining music, philanthropy, and civil rights advocacy.

While clearly not held back by his TBI, Aaron nevertheless had to deal with its consequences, especially concentration, focus, and fatigue. To help remedy those deficits, he found that support groups and case studies helped him better understand his new circumstances and adapt to them. It was during this time that Aaron learned about and became involved with the Brain Injury Association of Michigan. After two years of active membership, he’s been installed as president of the Detroit Chapter Support Group and aspires to help other survivors on their road to recovery.

Aaron credits the BIAMI for their relentless work for and with the brain injury community. Clearly his own indomitable will, his commitment to serving others, and his powerful faith have also been key factors in his recovery. As he puts it: “A catalog of injuries could not deter my determination to better myself to help someone else.”

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Lightouse Neurological Rehabilitation Center