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Dealing With A Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury

A family coping with a loved one suffering a traumatic brain injury is forced to deal with a lifelong, uphill battle that tests patience, devotion, and, very often, financial resources.

A victim of a car accident who is left with traumatic brain injury may never fully recover or regain the life they once had.

Without the calendar taped to the refrigerator in her parents’ kitchen, Kim Valentini wouldn’t know where her dad is. He doesn’t travel far and he isn’t hard to reach. Kim simply can’t remember from hour to hour — sometimes minute to minute — where he’s told her he’ll be.

Fifteen years after a devastating car wreck, 36-year-old Valentini still lives with a brain injury that left her short-term memory unreliable, and entire sections of her long-term memory completely erased.

She remembers how she used to be, and that she enjoyed skiing and dancing, but doesn’t know how to be that same person now. She tells MSNBC, “The old Kim died.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 5.3 million Americans, about 2% of the U.S. population, currently have a long-term or lifelong need for assistance performing daily activities due to a traumatic brain injury.

Most brain injured patients experience recovery in a “one step forward, two steps back” type of way. Even with intensive therapy and committed family and friends, some brain injury victims never recover what they have lost.

A victim of a traumatic brain injury needs structure and familiar surroundings. Too often, brain injury victims have no structure in their daily lives and achieve very little each day. They nap, and then can’t sleep at night; they eat meals at varying times and can’t remember if they have eaten at all; they leave things in random places and can’t find them later. To combat these common problems, tight structure may help create a routine.

It is important to remember that the victim of a traumatic brain injury still deserves the highest quality of life and respect. Victims often need to re-develop language and social skills, and even re-learn skills that we often take for granted, like walking.

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, contact the accident lawyers at The Strom Law Firm, LLC for a free consultation to see if we can help you through this difficult time.

 

By: South Carolina Brain Injury lawyer Pete Strom

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