It’s nice to hear an upbeat story about someone making a recovery from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel provided one a few days ago.
My local paper did a profile of Martin de Ridder, a crane operator from Plymouth, Wis. On July 5 de Ridder was working on a $54 million bridge-building project not far from Oshkosh. That day there was a terrible accident. His crane collapsed and fell over, according to the Journal Sentinel.
A truck driver was hit by the falling crane and killed. De Ridder was thrown and suffered a TBI, one that his doctors at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, Wis., thought he would never survive. De Ridder’s neurosurgeon told the Journal Sentinel that he had a blood clot that was so big it was pushing his brain and making it shift. And those kinds of shifts can stretch blood vessels and stop blood from reaching all parts of the brain, according to the Journal Sentinel.
Doctors put de Ridder in a medically induced coma and removed two pieces of his skull to allow his brain to swell without being damaged.
Finally, de Ridder was awakened from his coma and spent two months in the hospital, according to the Journal Sentinel. He then spent seven weeks at the Clearview Brain Injury Center in Juneau, and came home Dec. 21.
De Ridder can’t remember his accident, or many of the weeks after it, the Journal Sentinel reported. But in terms of his TBI, his doctors and occupational therapist said that his recovery has been remarkable.
But De Ridder isn’t out of the woods, by any means. He has to have eye surgery and has ringing in his ears, according to the Journal Sentinel. And he’s been told not to run up stairs or play any sports, for fear that any new head injury will be fatal.