Triad mom shares story of re-learning ‘everything’ after traumatic accident as teen

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- As with most busy moms, Kelly Darmofal's many to-do's keep her organized. But her note-taking serves a far greater purpose. Darmofal has to work extra hard to remember things after an accident some 20 years ago.

She had just turned 15 years old and cheered at her first football game. She and some friends headed to a nearby Burger King for a bite to eat. The car she was riding in ran off the road, slammed into a telephone pole, her head hit the dash. The blow to her head caused a severe traumatic brain injury. She woke up three weeks later from a coma.

Her entire life up until the crash was a sudden blank slate.

"I couldn't remember anything. I had to learn how to walk, talk, write, read -- everything. I didn't even know how to chew," Darmofal said.

Her journey since that day has been long and tough, learning how to do things most of us learned as children. Darmofal went on to finish high school, college, even graduate school. She is now married and lights up when talking about her 4-year-old son.

She has written a memoir called "Lost in My Mind" and is now a motivational speaker. Her book is a very honest and real account of her day to day struggles.

"Never give up hope, never. Just keep going because in the end it's worth it. It makes me feel incredible to be able to encourage other people -- and there are so many out there -- who have had brain injuries," Darmofal said.

A local filmmaker wants to turn her book into a documentary about her journey. To find out more, visit her website at

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