I have been contemplating writing this post because it is so personal and brings out a lot of feelings all over again. For some reason I just can’t stop thinking about it, so I have decided to share.

A few nights ago, I watched The Crash Reel with my mom. It is a documentary about Kevin Pearce and his story of surviving a traumatic head injury while training for the Olympics. It was an incredible film in so many ways. It was so interesting to see his emotions and thoughts along with his family and friends. I cried almost the whole way through. This documentary had shared all the emotions and feelings I remember.


Seven years ago, my older brother fought for his life. I will never forget the call from my parents telling me to meet them at St. Marks hospital ASAP…something happened to Kanon.

I had been at tennis tryouts that morning(something I was so excited to tell Kanon, that I would be on the team that year), and I realized I had several missed calls from my family. At first I didn’t think anything of the missed calls…I always felt like I took too long to call back.

I rushed to St Marks, parked my car, jumped into my parents car, and we were off to another hospital! Why weren’t we staying at this hospital?! What even happened to Kanon?! Am I still in my tennis outfit?! Is he going to be okay?! There was so much going on in my mind…

Kanon had been at practice that morning. He was sparring, getting ready for his next fight…he was hit in the head…was fine…and then he wasn’t…and then his friends rushed him to the hospital…he died in a hospital room…and then he was alive again…and then he was being life flighted to another hospital…with us driving fast behind him…

Chase was already there when Kanon arrived, and they whisked him off into emergency brain surgery. And there we all stood…in the waiting room…waiting to find out if Kanon would make it. He was now Trauma Xerox. What?! It was the weirdest and scariest experience. How was this happening? We just dropped Kanon off at his house last night. I couldn’t talk. I was numb. Then I would cry. I remember at one point we were all sitting in the hall by the doors just waiting for someone to come out. There was so many people waiting and waiting. We spent the night on the floor in the hospital chapel.


Kanon made it through the night…he was in the ICU for what seemed like a lifetime…he opened his eyes…even though he didn’t really know exactly who we were, we could finally breathe…we had no idea what was ahead of us…but he was alive and that’s all that mattered.

Kanon had to relearn EVERYTHING! I don’t know what I would do if I had to start back at square one, it would be so incredibly hard. Kanon did it with such a good attitude, always making others laugh and being so genuinely sweet to everyone. Sure, he had his hard days…but who wouldn’t? He had this giant bubble thing on the side of his head that when he shook his head it would move like jello…we would laugh and laugh about how funny it was! He made everything easier and less scary when he did things like this to make us laugh:)


Kanon finally got to come home after too long spent at hospitals! I remember the day and what we did…everything was perfect about that day…my favorite part was taking a nap with my brother who was finally home. Ha silly memory…but it was a miracle we had gotten to that day.



We would laugh at the times my mom would tell Kanon he had to wear a helmet while playing frisbee golf…and celebrate that he was alive…and maybe sometimes I took advantage of one side of his vision being gone;)…the good the bad the really bad and the really great was all felt…

This was a hard experience on everyone. Emotions were high all of the time. I couldn’t even imagine how Kanon was feeling. I wish I had been more aware when it all happened, and helped more through everything he was feeling. I entirely loathe/love August 7, 2006.


I have the best brothers a girl could ask for. Don’t know what I would do without them.


Every year on August 7, we celebrate Kanon’s birthday…we make it a food celebration and go out to brunch or dinner…almost 8 years now…

I love you to pieces Knanny!






9 thoughts on “the crash reel

  1. alisha aka your biggest fan

    I had no idea this ever happened. Maybe the next time we hang out you can tell me your whole life story, ups and downs, awfuls and wonderfuls, and then I will feel like I really know you. You are amazing for sharing. This life experience sounds so so so so so scary. I am SO happy it is a happy ending!!!!!!! xoxo


    1. Samantha Knaphus Post author

      I guess we should probably both tell each other everything about our lives! Aw thanks for reading it…I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share it or not…but I did! Im happy it was a good ending too!! xoxo


  2. Jan Knaphus

    Sam – I heard later that Kanon had been hurt, but had no idea how or what happened. . .it’s (another) one of those shoulda-coulda moments for me – should have called your parents to learn more. Thanks so much for sharing your story.


  3. Mandi

    Sammie… When I was reading this I started to cry in the very beginning and then I stopped… then again when I saw the picture of him and Doja ( I still don’t know if I spell that right) but it just made me think of how amazing dogs are and how much they comfort us even though they can’t say anything.. then I stopped crying again. But when I got to the picture of you two in the very end I started up again.. that is a beautiful picture of you two and I am so so happy that he was able to make it through so you guys can have each other! Your family has a special place in my heart. Love you Sammie.


    1. Samantha Knaphus Post author

      This comment made me cry…dogs are the most amazing thing that can happen to people…they just love you no matter what! Oh and best friends do the same thing! Im lucky I have you in my life! Love you Manda!! xoxo


Leave a Reply