Posted on April 8, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Fred

Post Trauma of TBI: Part Eight

One of our primary goals in creating and throughout TBI Voices is to speak up to help those families who are new to this crisis.  How to help them with the post trauma of TBI. Much of the motivation for was summarized by my co-author Becca in 1997 at

I remember passing through an emergency room two months post-trauma of TBI and seeing a family who reminded me of that first day… I wanted to tell them it would be OK, that it would get better, but I didn’t know where to start, what to say. And then I realized that it was happening all over the world, every day; and when it did, we were so alone, you were so alone.

Fred’s Mom words can make it easier for those who are newly walking through that emergency room door. We asked her what she could do to be more prepared for Fred coming home with post trauma of TBI?

Well, I don’t know.  I know that when he came home I didn’t get – for some reason we kind of fell through the cracks and I didn’t get a lot of the professional support that I should have had.  I think that that is, is something that parents of course aren’t going to think about.  But facilities and places like that need to be very aware that that the parents need the support because it’s, it’s frustrating.

You, you often wonder if you made the right choices in, in bringing them home.  You have to worry about anger with your, you know, yourself.  Not their anger but your own anger.  You got to make sure that you always remember and I always try to remember that when he was doing things that would upset me, that a lot of times it was just because of the accident, it wasn’t necessarily him.

He was always a difficult child growing up but it was just his personality.  He was very strong that way.  But I think that just getting – maybe lining up people that would be willing to help you if you needed it more.  Things of that nature.  I don’t know.

When did you start coming to the support groups here for post trauma of TBI?

Several months back.  We haven’t been here a lot.  Like I said we kind of got dropped through the cracks and so I didn’t find out about these groups until I was talking with one of his speech therapists and she goes well, there’s a group up here in Warsau.  So then we started coming.

Has the support group for post trauma of TBI helped you?

It kind of has, yeah, yeah.  I noticed – we were talking with one of the other fellows I noticed a similarity between all of the survivors, – which is helpful to me.  And talking with their spouses and, and other people, I see a lot of the same frustrations that they had to deal with.  So that kind of makes me feel a little better in that maybe I didn’t do anything wrong or I didn’t make any bad choices. All the things I second guessed myself on – I think we’re okay.

Do  you feel like it has been a miracle how well he has done, based upon where he started post trauma of TBI?

Nothing short.  Nothing short.

Well of course he survived but like I said they, they really didn’t have – hold out any hope, you know.  The one, the one caseworker was very honest, which I give her credit for.  First she said well, in reality we’re probably looking at putting him in a nursing home that specialized in brain injury people permanently. And he would never have – never come out of that ever and function in society.

Well and of course now he’s, we’re looking at,  going to school and getting his life back on track and, and moving forward.  We didn’t hold out any hope for him in the beginning.

So it’s nothing short of a miracle.

Miracles and tragedies post trauma of TBI. The yin and the yang of brain injury, unexpected miracles in severe cases – surprising tragedies in mild cases.  The miracles happen because people believe in the miracles, because the post trauma of TBI is recognized AND treated.  Until the same is true of MTBI, we will be wondering decades later, how much is from the subtle brain injury and how much is just part of life.

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