Yesterday we discussed the seemingly remarkable story of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who suffered a catastrophic traumatic brain injury (TBI) nine months ago after being shot in the head. Earlier this week the congresswoman and her husband had their first public interview since the accident. The couple explained Gabby’s advances in the nine months since the accident, improvements that many doctors have described as “miraculous.” However, a few community members who have lived through TBIs in their own family have expressed frustration at what they are deeming a one-sided discussion of the actual recovery process.
In an article from Salon, one mother whose son suffered a life-threatening TBI claims that the reality of dealing with a TBI is much less hopeful or glamorous as described in most accounts of the Gabrielle Giffords story. The mother explains that nearly four years ago her then-fifteen year old son was hit by a minivan, thrown nearly sixty feet into the air, and landed on his head. He was unconscious when paramedics arrived, and his parents were told by doctors that they did not know what his quality of life would be after the accident.
The mother explains that unlike Congresswoman Giffords, her family has not near the resources to help their son recover. While Gabby is in intense therapy even now, more than nine months after the accident, her son was released from rehab after three weeks. He was essentially forced to make due on his own, claims his mother, and the road has been incredibly difficult. This was the case even though the family had two different insurance policies in place at the time. As our Chicago injury lawyers know, even families that are seemingly prepared for these emergencies find it difficult to find the necessary resources to provide the best care possible. In this case the mother was forced to learn how to help her son on her own. He arrived home with the emotional range of a three year old. He lacked the ability to understand the limits of his injury and he couldn’t communicate well with others, because the injury had adversely affecting his linguistic abilities (as with the Congresswoman).
While the story of Gabrielle Giffords can be used to raise awareness of all brain injury victims, our Chicago brain injury lawyers know that the real recovery for many families is much less glamorous. Most victims have no access to the resources that have been made available to help in the Congresswoman’s recovery. That is why we are proud to fight every day for these victims, ensuring that they receive fair redress for their losses such that they have the absolute best chance at getting their lives back to as normal as possible. This is not a radical idea. All community members should get behind the notion that those whose wrongdoing causes another to suffer a significant injury that has serious ramifications on their lives should be held accountable and required to provide support to help that victim get back to normal.
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