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Lessons from Traumatic Brain Injuries

It is hard to image any good things that come out of serious traumatic brain injuries. Each Illinois brain injury lawyer at our firm has worked with many local families who have faced significant hardship as a result of these injuries. Virtually no TBI victim would likely turn down the chance to go back in time and prevent the accident or error that lead to their injury. However, it is sometimes helpful to highlight situations where individuals try to make the most of their situation. There are families, throughout the country and in our area, who strive to not only recover as much as possible but to use the tragedy as an opportunity to grow and improve.

For example, NPR shared a story this week on one man’s quest to use his brain injury was a way to be kinder than he was before the accident. In his case, the man was riding alone on a stretch of highway in California four years ago when he suddenly hit some grout on the road. The incident threw him off the bike in a serious accident. He was wearing a full helmet at the time, but those sorts of safety objects cannot offer full protection in the face of the forces involved in those accidents. He suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The injury was severe. He was ultimately in a coma for six-weeks. His wife explains the arduous recovery process. She noted that he was unable to do virtually anything for himself for more than seven months. He needed assistance with everything, and was unable to walk or talk. Fortunately the man eventually began to improve.

Yet, improvement is not the same as returning exactly to what one was before an injury. The man in this case admits that he didn’t feel like he was improving fast enough. He said, “My mind, I feel, is so damaged. It’s kind of made my life very hard to live, really.”

The stress of living through the recovery process once drove the man to attempt suicide. He explains that in one particularly depressive state, while thinking about all of his life that he had lost, he took a drug overdose. Fortunately, his wife found him in time, took him to the hospital and saved his life.

Since that time, however, the man and this wife admit that things are improving, and they are using the tragedies as incentives to work on other parts of their life. For one thing, the TBI victim suggests that he is much kinder now than he was before. Once know for a sarcastic wit that sometime bit hard, he is much nicer to those around him.

His wife also explains that he is more open now than beforehand. Talking about the improved relationship with his nieces before the accident he explained, “All kids bugged me before the accident, that’s the weird thing. I wouldn’t even invite people to our house because they have kids […] And now I love my nieces, I love those girls.

Our Chicago brain injury lawyers understand that these struggles are shared by many who suffer a TBI. Changes in one’s life in the aftermath are often significant, favorite activities often can no longer be performed. It is not uncommon for victims to experience significant depression afterward. All those in that situation should remember that help is available.

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