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Nine years after his injury, T.K. Johns is unable to do many things that others his age can do. "I can't do what I want to because I'm unable to accomplish certain tasks this chair." T.K. says, "The only thing I can focus on is smoking (my) pipe and playing video games."

Will to Walk

story by Abby O'Bryan

Timothy Karl Johns – they call him "T.K." – was good at everything. His talent in all aspects of life, including skateboarding, snowboarding, and art did not go unnoticed by those who knew him. His future was bright.

At 25, T.K. decided to move to Colorado to indulge his passion for snowboarding. It changed the Henderson native's life forever.

“I had a bad feeling when (T.K.) told me he was moving to Colorado,” T.K.’s father Tim Johns says. “I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but something just didn’t feel right.”

His father's fears were confirmed when he received a call that T.K. was in the hospital.

Snowboarding down a mountain trail, T.K. hit a strip of dirt causing him to fly into the air and land on his head. T.K. was unable to move for hours. The snow patrol found his still body almost completely covered in snow.

Doctors gave T.K. two days to live, but T.K. didn’t give up. The impact of the fall damaged 80 percent of his cerebellum, severely damaging his brain. He was in a coma for three months before he woke up and began a long road to recovery.

Nine years later, the 34-year-old has come a long way from where he was after the accident. Though T.K. is in a wheelchair, he slowly is learning how to regain his abilities.

""It's not a dream for me [to walk] it's a probability, I will walk." T.K. says. "I know I will walk."

 He is always positive about his situation.

"Getting hurt was not the worst thing that ever happened to me." T.K. says. "It made me much more grateful."

T.K. may not be able to do everything he used to but doesn’t let that stop him. He tries to walk when he has the opportunity, participates in physical activities, such as the high ropes course at his family’s Brain Injury Adventure Camp in Henderson County.

His life has changed, but that won't stop him from living his life as if it hadn't.


To get out of the house, Tim Johns takes his son T.K. Johns shopping for supplies they will need for a Terror on the Trail event that is taking place at their familiy's camp in Henderson County. T.K. considers his dad to be his closest friend and the two are comstantly playing jokes on each other.


T.K. Johns rests on a platform with his father, Tim Johns, after his first time completing the high ropes course at the Brain Injury Adventure Camp. T.K., who destroyed 80 percent of his cerebellum in a snowboarding accident, managed to make his way all around the course.


After damaging 80 percent of his cerebellum in a snowboarding accident, T.K. Johns uses a brace to help compensate for his loss of balance.


While the change in T.K. Johns life has been dramatic, he is still the same T.K. he was nine years ago, before his injury. Being in a wheelchair makes T.K. unable to do the tasks that he used to love to do, like skateboarding and snowboarding. But he says he is just happy to be alive.


Getting ready for bed is a routine for T.K. Johns. While being in a wheelchair makes tasks like brushing his teeth more inconvenient, T.K. has learned to adjust to these new changes.


T.K. Johns may be unable to skateboard due to his brain injury, but he still enjoys playing skateboarding video games with his cousin, Jasper Bailey.


While T.K. Johns is unable to do many things he still is able to smoke his pipe, which he does often. "I don't like that he smokes so much," T.K.'s mother, Cindy Johns, says. "But it is his only outlet. I can't tell him no."


Terror on the Trail is an annual event that takes place on T.K. Johns' family's camp. Last year, T.K. participated in the trail scaring the people that went through. This year, he decided not to participate.

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