Posted on November 22, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 10 of 17 in the series Rita

Parents of Catastrophic Brain Injury Survivor: Rita Part Ten

At the end of Part Nine, Rita’s mom explained, as one of Rita’s parents of catastrophic brain injury survivor, that they were left to themselves to find ways to help Rita when she came home:

Parents of Catastrophic Brain Injury Survivor Left on Their Own

I started doing the research finding out where she could go, because it was a big problem because of Medicaid, where she’s going to go, who’s she going to pay for, who’s, how’s it going to be paid, blah, blah, blah.  Then I went to a couple of hospitals around here.  I knew what she needed was a standing frame.

What’s a standing frame?

A standing frame is something, it’s just a little, kind of machine.  You kind of sit in it, it kind of lifts you up, so you can stand.  And it’s all supported, but you’re standing, so you get used to the feeling of standing again.  I knew that’s what she needed.  When we left Bayfront, that’s where she was.  She was just, you know, getting in the standing frame.

So, yeah, just went around, checked out a few places.  I decided on Community right here because it’s so close to our house, and it turned out the physical therapist here used to be in the brain rehab department at Tampa General.  So he’s a great guy, very familiar with it.  We’ve been coming here since November.

Parents of Catastrophic Brain Injury Survivor Find Help

How often do you come here?

Three times a week.  She on a share of cost plan.  When she got home, she basically has to spend her entire Social Security disability check before Medicaid will pay for anything.

As she had a good career before she moved to Florida shortly before she got hurt, her Social Security benefit reasonable?

Yeah, it’s $1,300.00.  I mean, and she was only 29 years old.  Yeah.  So it’s because she had good job. But because of that we’re spending her check to pay for everything.

Would she have access to these services if she didn’t have that check?

Oh.  I have no idea.  I – no, I don’t think so because, um – I, I don’t know.  I prob, I think it’d be better.  They probably, you’d get a little healthcare plan.  Okay?  That’s what I, she was first going to be on I thought until we got this share of cost thing.  You know, Medicaid has healthcare plans, so it’s like a normal plan.  You go and, you know –

She’s eligible despite the preexisting condition to get on the healthcare plan?

I  started looking into it.  Sure, she can get healthcare, but then they tell you, but anything that’s wrong with you is, is not included, you know.    Which is just about everything.

As our interview had focused on Medicaid issues when she has started to tell me about the two things they did from the beginning to help Rita when she was in the hospital, she came back and explained the other at this point in our interview:

One of the other things, besides the musical therapist, we took Janelle outside everyday.  There’s this thing called a cardiac chair that we were able to move her over in, put her in even when she was on oxygen, you know.

When you say every day, beginning when?

Beginning when she got in that room at the end of January.

January 20?

Yeah, probably the next week we started taking her outside every single day.  There was a little patio thing in there and we would play ball with her – just do all, all sorts of things.  I think that really helped getting her out of that room.  She wasn’t stuck in that room every single day.  She was outside.  We’d walk around the hospital.

Next in Part Eleven – Ongoing Therapy Hampered by Visual Deficits

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


About the Author

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