Devoted Wife Continues To Care For Her Ex-Husband After He Suffers A Traumatic Brain Injury — With The Help Of Her New Husband

She refused to give up on her ex-husband and the love they shared before his accident.

Kristen Armstrong, Brandon Smith, James Armstrong @followmetothemouse / TikTok

A woman shared the heartwarming story of how she decided to stay by her ex-husband's side after he was involved in a frightening accident.

Kristen Armstrong opened up about her family's unique situation in multiple videos posted to her TikTok account, and how, in 2008, while married to her then-husband and high school sweetheart, Brandon Smith, for two years, Smith was involved in a catastrophic accident that forever altered not only his life but hers as well.


She continues to care for her ex-husband following his traumatic brain injury, alongside her new husband.

In a video posted to her account, Armstrong revealed how her husband ended up becoming her brother. She explained that she and Smith first met while the two were in high school and he was 15 while she was 16. 

kristen armstrong cares for ex husband brandon smith after traumatic brain injuryPhoto: TikTok / @followmetothemouse


"We fell in love and it was one for the books. Full of handwritten notes, inside jokes, hand-burned CDs, and all the things a first love encompasses," she recalled.

However, their relationship and Armstrong's life took a drastic turn in 2008, just two years after the young couple were married and ready to start a family.



RELATED: A Man’s Ex-Wife Reads An Emotional Letter To His New Bride On His Wedding Day — ‘Thank You For Not Trying To Replace Me’


Smith had been involved in a car accident in which he was T-boned by a commercial truck. At the time, Smith was 23, while Armstrong was 24. "He sustained a severe traumatic brain injury and was in a coma for two months."

The doctors warned Armstrong that her husband would never be the same if he woke up from his coma, and would need around-the-clock care as he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, unable to do basic things for himself.

"He needs help eating, [going to the] toilet, dressing, transferring. He has a difficult time communicating, and has a lot of short-term memory issues," Armstrong continued. 

After two additional years of being married to him, Armstrong made the difficult decision to divorce him.

Following Smith's accident, doctors informed Armstrong that he would never be able to have children of his own. That reality crushed her, especially since she admitted to dreaming of one day becoming a mother and starting a family.


"I longed for children, a family, a partner, but I knew that I would always love Brandon and wanted to honor my vows of caring and loving for him through sickness and in health," Armstrong said. Her decision to divorce Smith didn't mean that she would be abandoning him completely.

kristen armstrong cares for ex husband brandon smith after traumatic brain injuryPhoto: TikTok / @followmetothemouse

RELATED: Man Shares His Emotional Reaction To Hearing His 8-Year-Old Stepdaughter Call Him 'Dad' For The First Time


In an interview with TODAY, Armstrong shared that she had filed papers to become Smith's legal guardian, but her choice was met with some apprehension from the judge. "She asked me, ‘What happens when you have a family of your own? Will you still be able to take care of this man?’” Armstrong told the news outlet. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m not going anywhere.’”

Armstrong had made a promise and she stuck to it.

In 2015, she ended up remarrying her now-husband, James Armstrong. The couple have three children together and, as a family, they all care for Smith as if he were one of their own.

James, especially, is particularly close with Smith, which Armstrong pointed out in another TikTok video, which makes her beyond happy. "I once thought I would never meet somebody who could love me and Brandon," she admitted in the video.



"James has never expressed any or shown any jealousy. He's never questioned my unwavering love for Brandon or given pause to the role [Brandon] plays in our family," she added. "Instead he's accepted Brandon with open arms."


kristen armstrong cares for ex husband brandon smith after traumatic brain injuryPhoto: TikTok / @followmetothemouse

Now, 15 years later, Armstrong and Smith see each other as siblings, as family. Their relationship shows the importance of found family and compassion, of coming together through love, trust, and a shared experience. 

Despite the challenges they faced after Smith's life-altering accident, Armstrong's love for him endured and transformed into a lifelong commitment to care for him as her brother, even after their divorce. 


"I think the word 'brother' now better defines our relationship," Armstrong said. "I will always carry his heart in my heart." 

RELATED: Grandma Shares Video Of Her Sad Granddaughter On Her Birthday After Her Dad & Friends Didn’t Show Up To Celebrate

Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.