In London, Kentucky, March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month. Mayor Troy Rudder signed the proclamation assigning March as TBI Awareness Month following a petition by TBI injury survivor Martina McClure. She appeared before the London City Council in March 2022 and told the panel that her experience prompted her to launch a website against bullying and violence.
“Most of you know my story – I was attacked at school. I was slammed into the wall and hit in the head with a cell phone,” she said. McClure needed more than three years of treatment and therapy to regain speech and movement.
Martina McClure’s attacker allegedly claimed that McClure was a bully
Martina McClure, then a senior, was attacked by Lea Sizemore, a junior, in their high school’s restroom in September 2016. McClure suffered Traumatic Brain Injury due to the assault. On her Social Health Network profile, she describes the impact of the injury:
“I lost the ability to speak, walk, simple daily tasks like showering, brushing my hair, using the toilet, and many other things a 17-year-old should do with ease. I couldn’t braid my own hair, or do my makeup, NO privacy.”
McClure adds that she underwent occupational, speech, and physical therapy to regain motor function. “All because of an act of bullying,” she writes.
In a recent Instagram video, McClure explained why Sizemore attacked her. She refuted the assertion that she bullied her attacker. She claimed that Sizemore got angry because she asked about the status of Sizemore’s relationship. McClure explained:
“Her reason was that I was being nosy, because I asked her boyfriend if they broke up. [In court] they were kind of asking me why I asked her if she broke up with her boyfriend. I mean, we were like 16 or 17 years old. At that age, people ask stupid questions and are nosy. “
“Her anger issues got the best of her,” McClure adds.
Lea Sizemore was acquitted of 1st-degree assault
Martina McClure said in her video that Lea Sizemore initially entered a mental illness plea. Unfortunately, a prolonged court process made even longer by unforeseen delays hampered McClure’s longing for justice.
Eventually, Lea Sizemore was acquitted of 1st-degree assault. McClure wrote in the comments section of her video that she disputed the court’s decision. McClure wrote:
“[Lea] was found not guilty although she posted threats the night before and followed me into the bathroom with multiple written witness statements saying I never fought back. And they saw her use her phone. But a couple witnesses changed their statements when they testified two years later.”
McClure, who is in a long-term relationship, is a justice reform and TBI advocate
Following three years of therapy, McClure regained her motor function. She writes on Social Health Network:
“She took that from me, but I got my walking back. I got my talking back. I got my handwriting back. I got my voice back, and I will never let anyone take it from me or anyone if I can help it again. Often I hear, ‘but you are so pretty?’ I say ‘do you have to be ugly to have a brain injury?’ Invisible illness needs awareness.”
McLure is a justice reform and TBI advocate. She uses social media to spread awareness about the impact of Traumatic Brain Injury on victims. “I have a TikTok site where I talk about bullying and traumatic brain injury,” McClure told The London City Council.
Breanna Carroll started a justice reform petition in McClure’s name on change.org. The petition reads: “Martina has set out to fight for justice reform, determined to protect potential victims and [change] the system that failed to protect her. Thank you for supporting her mission.”
After years of struggle, McClure is happy and in a long-term relationship. McClure’s boyfriend of more than three years is of Indian descent. In November 2022, the couple celebrated their third anniversary, with McClure writing on Instagram that the future looks bright for the pair:
“I can’t believe how fast time has flown by. If you would have told me I would have met my best friend, my better half, & my soulmate online 3 years ago I wouldn’t have believed you. And I am so thankful I did. You have opened my eyes to so much, and taught me so much.”
“We quarantined together, we have traveled together, bought a home together, and I hope to create so many more memories in the future! I appreciate you being a huge part of my life the last 3 years.”