Thirteen years ago, Jonathan Swiatocha and his family were driving home from a church performance when their vehicle was struck by an underaged drunk driver. Jonathan suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) which put him in a coma for three days and had to be put on life support. At just ten years old, Jonathan was given an obstacle that most do not survive from. Jonathan had to undergo intense physical, occupational and speech therapy to regain normal physical and cognitive functioning. Jonathan ultimately overcame this adversity, but it wasn't all smooth sailing going forward.
Doctors told Jonathan's parents that he would recover physically from his TBI relatively quickly, but emotionally, behaviorally and cognitively he may struggle as he gets older. They were right because depression, anxiety, fear, isolation, PTSD and thoughts of suicide are all battles that Jonathan has recently faced. These are all symptoms of an invisible injury that is often only noticeable by those closest to the individual. During this time, Jonathan had a conversation with his mother which made him realize he was living as a victim instead of living as a victor. Jonathan has started a new campaign in his life where he is now "Running to Victory." Jonathan has made it his mission to become the first olympic marathoner with a TBI. He has also began telling his story to inspire others to live live as a victor instead of a victim. Check out his TEDx talk below to see him in action.