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Living With Traumatic Brain Injury as the Sufferer or the Caregiver

There is no more debilitating, life altering injury that can happen to an individual or to that individual’s loved one than a traumatic brain injury (TBI) severe enough to alter the emotional and physical makeup of the injured person. It is debilitating because the sufferer is left without any cognitive ability, any memory or the use of normal body functions, as well as the ability to communicate. It is life altering because, for the rest of their natural life, someone else will have to do everything for them. Every day in the life of an individual suffering from debilitating TBI is a day without sunshine, especially for his or her family members. The brain is at the center of everything we do, or everything we are capable of doing. TBI, if severe enough, will stop the brain from functioning at a level that will allow an individual to think and respond to his environment in a meaningful way.

A recent article posted in brainline.org gives insight into some of the trials facing a family when a member of that family is suffering from some form of TBI. The mother of a young boy suffering from TBI as the result of being struck by a car while riding his bike gives an account of the suffering that her son, and her family has gone through for the last ten years after the accident. Her son was 13 years old at the time of his injury; he is now 23 years old. The family’s coping skills has allowed them to provide loving care for their invalid son, while keeping the family unit together, even so, the pain continues unabated.

In the early stages of her son’s illness, he was reduced to a vegetative state where everything had to be done for him. This is the stage where the family members must become clairvoyant. They develop the ability to sense the needs of their injured family member who has lost the ability to convey his needs. See the complete story of this valiant mother’s struggle in caring for her son at brainline.org.

The care, treatment and prognosis for TBI vary from individual to individual, depending upon the severity of the injury, and whether the sufferer receives immediate medical care and treatment, and whether rehabilitation services are available for the sufferer’s specific type of injury. The injured person will eventually plateau, meaning that he has reached a point where it is very unlikely that there will be any further improvement in his condition. The family, as caregivers, has the responsibility of coping with the emotional and physical handicaps of their loved one, not to mention the mounting medical bills and expenses connected to the ongoing care of their invalid son, daughter, mother or father. Through all of this, the most agonizing conclusion comes with the realization that the vibrant, fun loving, individual who was a part of your life for such a long time is not coming back. Physically they are still there, but what made them who they were is gone forever. The feeling of loss can be staggering. The one shining light at the end of this very dark tunnel, however, is that many families grow closer together as a result.

Debilitating TBI is a difficult injury to live with, whether you are the sufferer, or one of your family members. It is at this time when you need the most help, that help will be readily available to you. You do not have to be in it alone. If your injury was caused by a negligent or intentional act of another person or entity, you will need the assistance of an experienced brain injury law attorney working for you. Call the law offices of Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.