Raleigh couple inspires millions through traumatic brain injury recovery

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the Raleigh wife of a former Navy SEAL medic is speaking exclusively with ABC11 about her experience caring for him after his injury.

Jonathan "Jonny" Grant was a passenger in a car accident on March 17, 2017, in Raleigh as he and a friend were trying to respond to offer assistance in the huge fire in downtown Raleigh.

Jonny suffered a severe brain injury called diffuse axonal injury (DAI) leaving him in a coma.

"He had shearing of his whole brain," Laura Grant said. "Meaning his whole brain just shook and little tears throughout the whole thing occurred. He had two big brain bleeds."

Doctors said 90 percent of DAI survivors remain unconscious and the 10 percent who awaken from a coma have significant impairment.

Laura never left her husband's side and turned to her faith, believing his strong will would pull him through.

"Pretty much I was handing it over to God," she said.

She began documenting their journey on Instagram.

A GoFundMe was also started to help cover medical bills.

Laura is an experienced pilates instructor who trusted her gut and training turning to alternative treatments for her husband which she believes has made all the difference in his recovery.

Jonny slowly began emerging from his coma but for two years he couldn't speak.

During his rehabilitation, a video of him standing and kissing Laura went viral.

As she heard from people around the world, there was one main theme she could see as to why it resonated with so many people.

"The main theme I hear is just how much they can see that Jon and I love each other," she said. "You think about it like, we only communicated really on the soul level, so to see that, that's one of the biggest lessons I feel like through Jon and I is reconnecting people at the soul level."

Even though the surgery was risky, Laura approved doctors to open his throat to try and remove scar tissue that was left behind from a tracheotomy.

That move allowed Jonny to start to get his voice back and this past Valentine's Day, he was able to read a card he picked out for her.

The two hope to have a family one day and producers are working on a movie deal documenting their love story.

Laura said she's even been talking about a book deal but through it all, she said this journey has made her see her purpose to inspire others to choose love over fear.

"When you live in love, that's the ultimate," she said.
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