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New Book Profiles Young Woman’s Brain Injury Struggle

The Capital Journal online shared information on a new book that our Illinois brain injury lawyers might be of interest to many local families who have dealt with these injuries. The book, “Louis: Amended,” was written by a woman who suffered a unique brain injury while a twenty-two year old journalism graduate student. The woman was getting ready to begin work at a newspaper when she suffered a severe “brain bleed.” She explains, “It just happened out of the blue-kind of like a stroke.”

The woman was prone to these injuries since childhood, having suffered previous bleeds both as a young girl and a teenager. In the past, the bleeds were less serious, resulting in temporary vision problems and headaches. While obviously frightening, she would recover quickly from those previous episodes. The woman’s mother explains that they had visited professionals about the condition. However, doctors apparently advised the family not to operate to fix the problem, because they assumed the injury would just cauterize on its own.

Unfortunately, that advice turned out to be troublesome.

When she suffered the bleed as a graduate student, it proved far more serious than anything she had experienced in the past. The episode was severe and caused her permanent physical weakness, dizziness, hearing problems, vision problem, and headaches. She also had facial paralysis.

Recovery was a very slow process. The woman spent over four years undergoing various tests, having operations performed, and engaged in therapy. The first operation was for the removal of a cluster of vessels in her brain stem. Subsequent operations were performed to try to minimize some of the symptoms of the injury-to correct a wandering eye and improve movement on the left side of her face. The facial paralysis is a particularly difficult injury from which to recover. To this day that woman cannot blink or close her left eye. Doctors have sown it shut partially so that her cornea remains moist. This results in double vision. Special lenses in her glasses are used to help correct it but the lenses are not a perfect fix.

The woman is now in the process of getting a doctorate in creative writing. “Louise: Amended” is slated to be released next month. In the text, the woman shares her story dealing with the injury and its aftermath. The book is a personal one, as the author explains, “I lay it all out there. I include a lot of potentially embarrassing stuff about myself and I don’t cast myself in the most flattering light, so I hope people don’t misunderstand what I’m trying to say.”

Each Chicago brain injury attorney at our firm understands that while all of these injuries are unique, brain injury victims often share a special bond after having to deal with the consequences of relearning basic skills. However, no matter how difficult the recovery or long-term consequences, we know that many local Illinois brain injury victims exhibit incredible perseverance and go on to lead fulfilling lives. As this author explained, it is possible to lead happy lives after these incidents, even while still wishing for things to be different.

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