Survivor Spotlight: Melissa Yu

“My Life, My Injury”

By Melissa Yu

Melissa Yu

In January 2008, I was a sophomore in high school ­- only fifteen at the time. I was healthy and I was walking normally. I went to church, Mariners Church, and went on a trip called Askesis. On this trip, I caught a cold. My church members called my parents, and they came and picked me up. I went to several doctors to get a proper diagnosis and treatment, and they all said it was just a cold; take the medication and it will get better. But, it got worse. The nurses didn’t draw my blood first, so the bacteria killed the antibiotics and left a hole on my heart valve. The bacteria got into my heart, traveled to my brain, and ruptured twice in the same location. Hi! My name is Melissa Yu, and I am a brain injury survivor. I have gone through a total of 23 surgeries, twelve in the brain area and everywhere else of my body ­- tracheostomy, gastrostomy tube (a.k.a., g-tube) and everywhere else. You name it, I have/had/got it! My left skull was removed and placed in the freezer for about eight months. I could not speak at all. I had to start over again, learning the ABCs, numbers…everything…like a baby again.

My testimony and suggestion is…life is too short not to LIVE. Live your life to the fullest! People you love, cherish them. People you hate, forgive them. One of my favorite quotes is, “There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters, who never did, who won’t anymore, and who always will. So don’t worry about people from your past, there’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future” (Adam Lindsay Gordon).






  1. Melissa,

    You make the day beautiful with your constant smile. You are one that makes the best of each day. Remember…”Yesterday is already a dream…and tomorrow is only a vision. But TODAY, WELL LIVED, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope!”

  2. Love you Melissa! Love that we met at coastline and we had to push each other girl!
    Pease, love, and happiness

  3. Melissa
    Your inner beauty is as great as your physical!
    God put you here for a purpose and your words of encouragement are truly heartfelt
    May God continue to bless you and strengthen you everyday
    Looking forward to seeing you again
    Thank you for sharing

  4. God is beyond good!! Thank you for sharing your testimony. Being able to read your story as a fellow brain injured survivor is a blessing & a reminder that although life may be different, life is still happening! One day at a time. By His love & grace. Please continue to share your testimony – people need to hear stories like yours. Many blessings to you Melissa!

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