Autoethnographic research is a relatively new means of gathering data on oneself to connect to research and theory while advocating for change within a policy, law, and/ or environment. In this autoethnography I will recount the experience of my traumatic brain injury (TBI) diagnosis following a car accident and present a few implications for the professionals and members of the society at large surrounding the issue of TBI such as the need for awareness and understanding as well as the importance of therapy and other forms of care within different cultures. When I was first diagnosed, many people did not know what TBI was, what it stood for, or what symptoms could result. Although research has progressed with this diagnosis, there is still a long road ahead. The first step to change is recognizing that there is a problem. After the problem is recognized, the solution can begin.


Autoethnography, TBI, Resiliency, Spirituality, Family

Author Bio(s)

Quanisha Miffin (Maiden name: Davis), is originally from Elizabeth City, NC. She received her Bachelor’s (2013) and Master’s Degree (2016) at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. She is now living in Virginia as a wife and stay at home mom to her son. Her interests include early intervention and resiliency after a diagnosis. She believes that strong faith (internal factor) and a supportive atmosphere (external factor) are the keys to successful recovery after a crisis situation/ disability. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: davisq09@students.ecu.edu.

Archana V. Hegde, PhD BK is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science. Her primary area of research is conducted using mixed methods, on topics related to early childhood teacher education and diversity. Dr Hegde chaired the research study and was part of the student’s journey that was conducted utilizing autoethnography. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: hegdea@ecu.edu or reach her office calling (252) 328 5712

Paige Averett, PhD, MSW, is a Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the School of Social Work at East Carolina University. She is a qualitative methodologist and finds value in stories, and the thick, rich detail found in qualitative methods, particularly those found in autoethnography. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: averettp@ecu.edu.

Natalia Sira, PhD, MD, is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at East Carolina University. She is teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in child life, human development and early interventions. Natalia is convinced that human functioning, health and behavior are best explained from a holistic and systemic approach. taking into consideration a variety of equally important factors such as family relationships and lifestyle, diet, exercise and social and cultural influences. Her research interests include health and coping, resilience and spirituality, attachment relationships and health outcomes. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: siran@ecu.edu.

Rae Holliday, LMFT received her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Wake Forest University (2016) and her Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University (2018). Currently Rae works as a Behavioral Health Therapist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio on the Acute Psychiatric Unit.


Quanisha would personally like to thank God for making all things possible. She would like to dedicate this to her son, Khalil Miffin. “Mommy loves you so much!” She would like to thank her husband, Charles Miffin, and her family (especially her mom, Sherrie Spellman, her stepdad, Darnell Spellman and her dad, Milford Creecy) for their support, insight, and challenging her to be the best that she can be. She wants to send a huge acknowledgement to her team of excellent professors who pushed her beyond what she thought was possible. Dr. Hegde, Dr. Averett, and Dr. Sira, thank you so much for your guidance and encouragement through this process. Quanisha also wants to say, “Thank you Rachael Holiday for your insight into correcting and expanding ideas. Rest in peace Grandma ReeRee, keep smiling down on me.”

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