The Way I Walk

As a young Cub Scout, the "Broken Arrow Boy" fell and an arrow in his hand punctured his brain. More than 50 surgeries later, Adam Moore lives a spiritual and artistic life.

Watch BrainLine's slideshow of the book Adam wrote when he was 9, Broken Arrow Boy — complete with the full text, illustrations, and photographs.

[chimes ringing] I study a lot about the yielding, surrendering, the ying and the yang, the positive and negative. Forces working together. It follows me. It's kind of the way I walk. My name's Adam Moore. I'm 32 years old, always been living in Broken Arrow. I've lived here since '83 so I've seen the town pretty much grow up. This guy? Well his name is Logan. He is a service dog. You can't really tell right now. He's a lot like me. We just really kick back and chill. He helps me do all sorts of things that I can't do for myself very well. Usually about 6 I get up, and I make my coffee. If I wore a watch, it wouldn't make sense to me. That's not just a cop-out. That's not an excuse. I'm missing that part of my brain that controls time, and it has caused so many problems in my relationships that I've lost girlfriends over it, because they think that I just don't care. The accident happened at a Boy Scout camp. After a week of it raining, we were finally able to go outside for our last activity. Mine was archery. My foot got stuck in the mud, and I kept walking. The arrows that were in my left hand with the points down in such a way that when I brought my arms up to break my fall, dropped all the arrows save 1, and it gripped in my hand. The point came up and, even though I was wearing glasses, it went underneath my glasses right here, moved my eyeball over. That's why I can still use it. It slipped through these 2 main arteries in your brain. If it had just rubbed up against or nicked 1 of them, I would have bled to death in like 5 seconds. I was lying on the ground with an arrow wound in my eye. They had me lifeflighted to Saint Francis, the pink one. So I sat there as they deliberated on what to do. It took like 6 hours. My older brother Ryan accidentally saw me with the arrow in my head, and that really messed him up for a long time. No one thought I was going to make it. No one had seen this. They would always give me the worse-case scenario. I never really cared too much about what they said. I did take some satisfaction in proving them wrong. Not just to prove them wrong, but to prove to myself that there is still hope. There's something more going on here than just recovery. As far as the wheelchair goes, I just started getting into this thing off and on about 4 years ago, and that has to do with the spinal surgeries. Right now, I am at what I call the 50+ club of surgeries. Infamous book. Wrote it in the 4th grade, got it published in the 5th grade. It was an autobiography about the things that I went through in the hospital, when I came home, all the obstacles, challenges that I faced. This was very therapeutic, very cathartic for me to write. This is kind of nice, because it shows the 5th grade mullet that I was sporting at the time. Big fan of that. It was a great response. That book has followed me my whole life, and I didn't really think it would. It was just an assignment. A 4th grade assignment. That's it. I traveled the country trying to promote the thing. Schools would actually give me money to go talk to their kids. That's what got me through college. Bill Murray was working on Scrooge at the time when he called me, and we talked for a long, long time. Apparently while I was in the hospital, Bill--can I call him Bill?Alright. Bill called and talked to my parents a lot. He helped them get through a lot of hard times. I do have a lot of deep-rooted anger that I just won't let out. I'm a big proponent of Eastern philosophy. Their focus on self. Their transendence. I learned all about hope. That's another thing I do that's helped me is I draw. I paint. Two things really, names and virtues. The names I do are so I can give to other people. The virtues are pretty much just for myself to help me remember what I've overcome. I've got my own little style. I feel like I see things differently. I want to share that. My tag says gimp. G-Y-M-P. For me it's not derogatory in any way, and I feel that--well. I just started driving after many, many years. I had to go through training because I have hand controls. I had to go through getting my license. I'll load Logan up. He takes up the backseat. I'll drive no where. As long as I am driving. There doesn't need to be anything more than that. Even if I don't consciously think about it, I know that those thoughts are going through my head. Wow I'm still here. Whatever you have, you don't have. You cannot hold onto anything. You can't take anything with you, but if you can just accept that. Accept that it's okay to let things go. It doesn't mean that you're weak. It doesn't mean that you can't. There's nothing wrong with that at all.
Posted on BrainLine September 28, 2012.

Used with permission from This Land Television. Produced and directed by Matt Leach and Sterlin Harjo. www.thislandpress.com.