Meet Ed Devitt
ED CARRIES A GENTLE DISPOSITION and a welcome sense of boyish charm fills his face when he smiles, appearing wholesome and genuine. He’s a simple Upstate kid with a story. And today he hopes that story is of value.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t see how my experiences can benefit others.”
The Past Made Good
TODAY, WHEN ED TELLS THE STORY of June 10, 1999, the day his world changed, he speaks deliberately and with patience. Drawing his listeners in, his words unfold slowly, the story of a boy bound for destruction. His newfound sense of peace is evident in his eyes.
“I never want to forget what was, how grateful I am for what happened.”
NEARING THE END OF HIS STORY, Ed’s eyes return to the present, gleaming while he discusses his TBI. He’s smiling. He carries a blue drawstring bag that has “Brain Injury Association of New York State” (or BIANYS) printed across the front. He’s quick to provide pamphlets to the uninformed.
“I chose to acknowledge my TBI to give strength to many others.”
WHILE HIS STORY BEGINS with traumatic brain injury, Ed is not hesitant to speak regarding his addiction struggles when the appropriate time and place allows. He speaks at Victim Impact Panels, regarding the dangers of drunk driving. In addition, he’s a good listener, who welcomes discussion afterwards.
“I want people to know that it’s ok to talk about addiction, because that’s part of the healing process.”
ED’S STORY SETS A FOUNDATION where he can speak on other topics, such as distracted driving. He often speaks at schools, informing young men and women on such dangers as texting while driving. He finds a connection with them, since he was their age when his accident happened.
“I just hope I can be a positive example to today’s kids.”
A Story That Travels
ED HAS CONTINUED to flesh out his story, allowing it to remain a part of him as he finds better ways to share it with those it might benefit. He speaks at schools, conferences and prisons. His story offers those with TBI, their loved ones, and his many other listeners an account of tragedy that spurred a brilliant discovery of self.
“If I can use my life to help spread a positive message, bring awareness and help others, I’ll be very grateful.”