Posted on March 21, 2012 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 2 of 32 in the series Quinn

Brain Injury Crisis: Quinn Part Two

Brain Injury Crisis effects more than the injured. Much of TBI Voices has been the stories not just of the survivor’s of TBI, but also spouses and family members. For most of those caregivers, the shock of being informed of the dire, is complicated by little knowledge of what to expert.  For Quinn’s wife, the brain injury crisis, her medical training did little to make her first few hours of waiting better during the brain injury crisis.

Quinn’s Wife Talks About Her Reactions During the Brain Injury Crisis

I was waiting to meet him for dinner.  I was out with my dad and his wife, and he was late, and I kept calling his cell phone wondering, you know, if he was just delayed.  He had been refereeing three hockey games.  We knew approximately what time it should have ended, and he wasn’t answering his phone.  He occasionally would get delayed, or just hang out and forget to, to call; so, I kept calling his cell phone and probably the fourth or fifth call, someone else answered his cell phone and told me that he had been in an accident, and he was on his way to the hospital.

I didn’t believe them.  I thought they were joking.  I said, you know, shut up and just put him on the phone.  I know he’s late and he’s probably avoiding the call; just put him on the phone; and they said no, no, we’re serious.  And I said, oh, well is he in an ambulance or helicopter?  They said, oh, an ambulance.  I said okay, well what hospital, Del Rey Medical Center; okay.  And we went.

What did you find when you went to the hospital?

That, nothing.  No information, no one would tell me anything; no one would let me back there.  They just said he’s there, and they’re working on him.  They kept saying he’s in a trauma; no one can come out and update me; no one can tell me anything; and it felt like days; but apparently, it was only but an hour to an hour and a half that I was waiting.

Now, you have a medical background yourself, correct?

Yes.  I’m a physician assistant.

How long have you done that?

About 11 years.

How long have you been married?

About ten years; just over ten years.

Tell me about the next hour and a half during this brain injury crisis?

After I was about to start really making a scene, cause I didn’t understand why no one would tell me anything, someone else came around and finally took me back to where he was; and it was at that point that I figured out that this was a serious accident; not just a small event, like I had really assumed.

What did you assume during this brain injury crisis?

I assumed it was, just a bump on the head.  He had an incident, a number of years ago at the health club, where a piece of equipment fell on his head; and I got a phone call saying can you come down here?  They’re going to take him to the hospital, and it was luckily a very minor incident.  You know, took the rest of the evening in the hospital, but they did a CAT scan and cleared him, and they stapled up his head.  He had eight, eight staples in his head, and a headache for a couple of days; and that was about it.

I assumed it was going to be a similar situation, until they brought me back and I saw that he was, basically, not conscious.  He had blood all over him.  They had somewhat cleaned him up, but not very well.

Where was he cut?

I couldn’t actually see the cut, but I saw blood all around his face.

What else did you see?

He had, you know, IV lines in him; and lots of doctors and nurses around him.

They already did a CAT scan during this brain injury crisis?

They had already done the CAT scan.  They were starting to review with me the information they had obtained in the CAT scan, and the damage that had occurred; and the fact that he had been combative   when he woke up; and it took, I believe, six men to try to hold him down, and a bunch of Atavan to hold him down.  And that was when I realized why they couldn’t come out and talk to me, cause they literally could not spare an extra person to leave his scene.

At this point during the brain injury crisis, do they know that you have a medical background?

I probably said it right away.  I don’t remember, but, yeah, I probably did, cause I wanted to hear the real details; not just abbreviated versions.  I wanted to know exactly what was happening.

So during this brain injury crisis, what was, what was wrong?

He had a fractured skull. He had numerous contusions on the brain, numerous areas of bleeding in the brain.  He was in and out of consciousness.  Again, when he was awake, he was combative .  I found out a lot more details later, but at the time that was about all I knew.

Next in Part Three – Delayed Coma Occurs to Cause Severe Brain Injury

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