Posted on December 20, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 3 of 34 in the series Craig

Frontal Lobe Damage: Craig Part Three 

Craig Talks about the part of the brain that was damaged that caused his coma that he drifted in and out of.  In his case it was frontal lobe damage.

What part of your brain did you injure?  What was the nature of your injury?

It was a lot of axonal shearing, but it was the frontal lobe damage that, it didn’t bruise, but it cracked,  my head a little bit.  But the damage which really didn’t seem significant ended up being pretty significant over time.


Did you have a skull fracture?


And you had a gash?

Upper gash, yeah, but it was small.

Did they do brain surgery for the frontal lobe damage?

Not really, no, you know.  They didn’t.  They would have had to flown me to Seattle to do that.

So tell me, I know that you don’t remember, but tell me if you can, what happened to you in the 24, 48 hours after the wreck? 

Basically just life support, keeping me stable.

You were rural Eastern Washington at the time? 

Correct and I went to Sacred Heart.

Did they take you by ambulance or via helicopter? 

Yeah, ambulance is faster.

So you went by ambulance to Sacred Heart.   What did they do the first 24 hours at Sacred Heart? 

Stopped the bleeding, put some stitches in.  They didn’t suspect that it would be as serious as it would be. I was in and out of consciousness for a good month.  Seizures, you know little seizures.  They never called them seizures until a year and a half later when I saw a specialist.    Then the problem started about six months after that.

You were hospitalized for how long? 

I was in and out for six weeks. I would come out at three weeks and then I was back in because I just, I couldn’t stay stable.

From the day of the accident 21 days essentially you were in the hospital? 


And in the ICU for most of that? 

Just first week.  You know because I was pretty stable.  I was pretty healthy back then, so.  You know healthier than I am now.

Were you an athlete at the time?

I exercised.  I was pretty active.

So, you were in and out of consciousness but not ever in a deep coma then? 

No (never in a deep coma).

Do you know what your Glasgow coma scale was? 

It was high.  I know they said it was high.  They called it a severe brain injury based on the Glasgow coma.

The Glasgow coma scale is rated 3 to 15, so when you say high it would be? 

They were at 11 I think.

It was 11. 

Yeah, so it was pretty high they said.

That is it’s relatively high for a severe brain injury with frontal lobe damage but  it’s certainly far from normal which would, even 15 isn’t necessarily normal. 

For more on the Glasgow Coma Scale, GCS, click here.  A score of 8 and below is considered severe, 9 to 12 moderate and 13-15 mild TBI.  But, the actual assessment of severity of injury and frontal lobe damage is more complex than that and based upon the length of post traumatic amnesia, Craig’s injury would clearly be considered severe.

Next in Part Four –  Who Craig Was Before the Traumatic Brain Injury

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447