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Alan Brochstein

Even though Friday, April 15, 2022, was a holiday, Alan Brochstein had just finished working. He had a lot planned—it was Good Friday, Passover and he and his wife, Fran, were celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary. He decided to enjoy the early afternoon with a bike ride and promised Fran he’d be home before hosting a small seder, a traditional Jewish dinner for Passover. 

“We have a pact,” Fran says. “When he rides his bike, if I call or text, he pulls to the side and calls me back.”
Two hours into his ride, Fran’s calls and texts went unanswered and she began to worry.

What Fran wouldn’t learn until 10 hours later was that Alan was involved in a hit and run accident and was admitted to Harris Health Ben Taub Hospital as an unknown patient at 4:40 p.m., six minutes later he was in surgery.

“After searching for him all night, a doctor called at five in the morning and told me Alan was at Ben Taub Hospital,” Fran recalls. “He read off his list of injuries and said we could see him at 7 a.m. They let us in and I’d never seen so many tubes and machines, connected to his body.”

Alan suffered a traumatic brain injury, a broken jaw, had his teeth knocked out, a broken nose, shoulder, ribs and ankle, and suffered serious injuries to his knees. Due to his traumatic brain injury, Alan doesn’t remember anything of his three weeks (18 days in the intensive care unit) at Ben Taub Hospital.

“Every morning I was welcomed by the staff who opened the doors to the ICU to visitors,” Fran says. “The rounds were extremely impressive to me—it included everyone who was making Alan come to life day after day. During the rounds they were speaking their doctor language, which is a bit foreign to me. But after they met, they took time to ask me if I had any questions and if I understood what was going on. It was so reassuring to me and our children. And we slowly watched Alan return to an amusing different kind of soul.”

Alan’s learned a lot about himself through his miraculous recovery. 

“Before, I was a workaholic,” he says. “I’m still a workaholic, but I’m a better-balanced person. I’ve learned you need to invest in friendships and there’s more to life than work. Now, I’m happier than ever.”

In fact, Alan authored a book with that very title, “Happier than Ever,” which details his catastrophic accident and recovery.

Alan says he’s always had great respect for Ben Taub Hospital.

"I will spend my time telling people how great it is to have these resources for us,” he says. “I also encourage bike riders to invest in a better helmet—it will be worth it if you ever need it.”
Now, instead of biking, Alan enjoys taking long walks.