Brain Injury Caregiving Challenge: Husband and Daughter


 

By Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

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Brain Injury Caregiving Challenge

This is a story of a brain injury caregiving challenge when both husband and daughter suffer traumatic brain injury in the same accident. How much more difficult would it be for the parent of a child with a severe brain injury, if your spouse suffers serious injuries in that wreck, including a TBI?  She had not realization at this point what a brain injury caregiving challenge she was up against. While Evelyn’s husband’s clearest injury in the family wreck was a broken ankle, he clearly also suffered a TBI.  Yet, as a result of the life threatening emergency involving their nine year old daughter Nancy, and because of his broken ankle, Otto’s TBI went undiagnosed. Evelyn recounts the confusion before she left her husband to spend weeks in Madison with her daughter. They are struggling to find a place to air-flight Nancy when Otto comes in by Ambulance. From Evelyn:

The Brain Injury Caregiving Challenge Begins

I go to his room and check on him. He’s asking me over and over again, how is she?  What is she doing?  How is she?  I wouldn’t say incoherently, but very upset, tears rolling out of his eyes.  He turned over to me.  All I remember seeing was the skin fell away, his ear actually laid back, his neck was open and it was laceration from, from his ear. His ear was just laying.  It was the strangest thing I have ever seen and I was just mortified by it.How much more difficult would it be for the parent of a child with a severe brain injury, if your spouse suffers serious injuries in that wreck, including a TBI?  While Evelyn’s husband’s clearest injury in the family wreck was a broken ankle, he clearly also suffered a TBI.  Yet, as a result of the life threatening emergency involving their nine year old daughter Nancy, and because of his broken ankle, Otto’s TBI went undiagnosed. Evelyn recounts the confusion before she left her husband to spend weeks in Madison with her daughter. They are struggling to find a place to air-flight Nancy when Otto comes in by Ambulance.

The Brain Injury Caregiving Challenge Continues

From Evelyn:

And I had said: Does that hurt you?  And he said no.  He was rambling on and on about Nancy.  What are we going to do and how is she and, and then I told him I’d be right back.  I had to find out who was willing to take her.  They need to leave now.

I went back to his room and I said do you want to see her?  This might be the last time you get to see her.  “No. It’ll waste too much time.  She needs to get attention immediately and that was the last I saw of him for quite awhile.”

Otto kept repeating the same questions a minute later.

It was like he wasn’t listening to what I was saying or it was not registering with him.  The repeated questioning happened for quite a while.  Even with phone calls later on it was hard.

Because of his orthopedic injuries, Otto wasn’t able to follow Nancy to the trauma center.

Brain Injury Caregiving Challenge: The Realization that Her Husband May Also Suffered a TBI

I tried to talk to him from the ICU the second day that we were down at the University Hospital.  I tried explaining to him what was going on.  The repetition and repetition of questions that would keep coming. There was no settling his mind with the answers I gave him.  It was like it wasn’t registering, it wasn’t computing.

Evelyn took on one of the most grueling brain injury caregiving challenges of all and kept strong through the whole process. To read and hear her brain injury caregiving challenge:

For the full story of Otto’s TBI, click here

Next – Mom Holding On to Hope in Face of Catastrophic Injury

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·       For a Table of Contents of Our Severe Closed Head Injury Information, click here.

·       On the difference a brain injury lawyer can make after a severe brain injury, click here.

Gordon S. Johnson, Jr., the author of this page is a lawyer, not a doctor, who practices law with the Brain Injury Law Group, S.C. Click here for more on the firm.