Stories of Caregivers and their Waiting
The following are stories of real life survivors of brain injury. Clicking on the titles will take you to their actual story.
The Chris story begins with the contrast between the absence of memory for the survivor to the nightmare ordeal of the parents of someone in a coma. Chris was hurt in January of 1998, when she was 15 years old. Now she is in her late 20’s. She was a pedestrian, walking over a bridge when a drunk driver jumped a curb, hitting her from behind. Her Mom heard of the accident from a friend who was listening to the police scanner, before she realized it was her daughter.
To others who find themselves in an ICU waiting for a loved one to awake from a coma: 1) listen to what doctors are telling you, take notes, write down your questions and ask; understand that doctors don’t always know how things will turn out; 2) take time for yourself, no matter how much you think your loved one needs you; and 3) don’t forget about the other people in your family and their needs.
Helena states; “And your caregivers, don’t let them get away.” For the caregivers, who without their commitment, recovery would be so much harder, so much more emotionally challenging, she offers this advice: “Forgive yourself. You’re going to make mistakes, because you’re human and you’ve never gone through this before. Give yourself a chance to get away from the situation, so that you have a life that is separate from your survivor, so that you can build yourself up, and sometimes, you say to yourself, they love me, though they can’t express it. Everyone has a soul. That soul is whole and perfect, no matter what the body is doing, and so that soul loves you. The soul of that survivor will always love you.”