My Life after Being Hit by a Semi; The Story of My Brain Injury by William Boggs

My brain injury affected me physically and spiritually

Will in coma.

Will in coma.

Can someone live after being hit by an 18-wheeler truck? This is my story. My story is about an experience that not many people face. Those people who do face what I experienced may not be as blessed as I was. I can truly say that God has His hand on my life. No one saw it coming and no one was prepared. Not only was I in an accident that affected me physically, but the very core of my spiritual life was turned upside down.

I guess one’s life is changed when he wakes up physically and mentally handicapped with his body paralyzed. I realized something was wrong when I opened my right eye and saw the typical white walls of a hospital as a background with doctors and nurses pacing back and forth. I felt so helpless since I couldn’t say a single word to figure out why I was there and no one that I knew was there. I thought, “Why did my family leave me?” I was put through a white tunnel, with lights flashing all around me as the cylinder around my head spun. Later, I learned that this was a CAT scan inspecting the condition of my brain injury.

But before any of this, I remember being in our Isuzu Rodeo asking my Mom if I could just read Rick Warren’s, “Purpose Driven Life” book straight through and not take the suggested 40 days. I was anxious to find my purpose. Within 5 minutes we were hit by an 18 wheeler.

Those next 40 days that I should have been seeking my purpose turned out to be a lot different than expected! We pulled out and before we could brace ourselves, our Rodeo was smashed; t-boned right behind where I was sitting. Instead of revealing my purpose through the book, God chose a different route. I plunged headfirst into 40 day coma. I say head first, because my head, which was the main cause of the coma, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).

The trauma of injury and healing

Will Boggs on his college campus.

Will Boggs on his college campus.

When paramedics arrived I did not have any vital signs. They did an emergency tracheotomy on me and I was airlifted to SHANDS Trauma Center. The chopper took off, heading for the hospital in GainesvilleFL, but a storm came up out of nowhere and forced the chopper to go to SHAND SHospital in Jacksonville. At the time, SHANDS was the best trauma center in the southeast, and the only hospital capable of placing a bolt in my brain to remove all the fluid.

Today, as I look back, I believe God immediately moved the storm into the chopper’s path.  I believe it was a storm orchestrated by God to keep that chopper going in the original path. Find out more about how God brought me out of the 40 day coma and healed my body from being paralyzed.

Through Will’s experience he has a passion to live out of purpose and to help others find the purpose God created them for.  His family has played a major role in his recovery and have begun TBI Hope to empower families whose loved one has been impacted by a TBI.  Will encourages you to push through every obstacle as he has and find your purpose. You can read more about Will on the Living Waters Ministry. 

8 responses to “My Life after Being Hit by a Semi; The Story of My Brain Injury by William Boggs”

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  3. Denise Boggs says:

    Hello Cindy,
    I am Will’s mother. I am responding to your recent post. Will’s accident was 9 years ago. Reaching out to others who are dealing with a child or loved one with a TBI is one of the best thing you can do. I would love to share some things that we did as a family to cope with our sons injury. Our life was altered in one moment. We had to make major changes. With God’s help we were able to make these changes and work together to facilitate Will’s recovery. We have a retreat center to help and encourage families. Please check it out at

  4. Cindy says:


    May I ask how long has it been since your accident?

    I’m the mother of a daughter who has TBI. And I live in a state that really never had, nor has support groups for TBI individuals or their care givers. If they do they’re hours away. Even though our daughters progress has been very positive. I still find that 8 years later, there are days I still struggle with that life altering event. How did or do your parents deal with it all?

  5. Will Boggs says:

    Hello Gerry,

    You truly have an amazing heart. Your story is remarkable. I can tell you have learned a great many lessons from your experience. Yet, it appears you have not allowed your present circumstances to defeat you. I truly admire you for this. Your courage and determination is inspiring.

    I also have learned and continue to learn lessons daily.I too learned many valuable lessons from my physical and occupational therapists. The most important lesson I learned is probably never give up and choose to find joy in the situations in life which may be completely uncomfortable or enjoyable at whatever stage in life you are at. Focus on a few key relationships, notably your family and remain thankful for the blessing of those precious people in your life. A valuable lesson I have learned is don’t over complicate things in life, but strive to simplify your life. Always trust God has an ultimate plan, in which everything is going to work out. I can tell you have seen the reality of Romans 8:28, which claims, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Always keep trusting God and in His promises. He is and always will be faithful to His Word.

    Blessings, Will L Boggs IV

  6. Gerry says:

    I am a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury of over 17 years from a car accident. I look forward to learning about and reading about members of the TBI community who live life to the fullest and take pride in their accomplishments, thereby inspiring others. I believe people need to understand that we all have struggles and difficult times. I prayed last night for God to give me the strength to deal with what comes ahead in life and to stop being frightened about things that may not ever happen, to live happy and peaceful. During my recovery, I was blessed to work with many physical, occupational and cognitive therapists. One cognitive therapist in particular coined a phrase that I choose to live by today, which was “Practice makes for improvement”. When I was a child, I always heard practice makes perfect. I guess many people believed that there is such a thing as people being able to become perfect. This is not the truth because we weren’t meant to be perfect and this word brought a lot of fear in people’s minds because of their ignorance. I believe it is very important that other TBI survivors understand that as you recover everything will get better. The more you practice learning new tasks, the better you will become at doing them. Instead of waiting until you achieve every goal, be happy about everything you can do a little better than you did before. Practice really does make for improvement. I will always remember the cognitive therapist who taught me to see life, my life in a different way. I will never forget her. I now know that I can be proud of all my accomplishments, even the smallest ones.
    Thanks a lot,


  7. Will Boggs says:

    As Romans 8:28 says, God worked my accident out for my good. God has truly done a work in my life! What seemed impossible to man, God made possible by my family and I having faith in His promises. Only by God’s grace have I been able to recover to a fully functional young man. As Psalm 46:1 says, “God truly is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.” During my time of trouble God was with me and was my present help.

    To all those suffering out there from tbi, never, ever give up. Hold on to God’s promises, and you will improve.

  8. Erin says:

    William, I am sorry you had to go through with this. One of my best friends has suffered from a TBI and PTSD which has lead me to raise awarness and take part in advocacy in MN. God is on your side! Bless you and stay strong!

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