Community Support After TBI: Zach Part Twelve
From our first voice on TBI Voices, Lethan Candlish, we have heard much about the value of community support after TBI, especially in small towns, when someone returns home after a severe brain injury. As Lethan says in Who in Am I Again, http://whoamiagain.com “Bloomsburg is a small town… In a small town it goes … people just trying to give offers of help.” Likewise, Leominster, Massachusetts is a small town and for Zach, the community support after TBI made all of the difference in the adjustment to life after rehab.
So let’s focus on the leaving Spaulding, coming home. Did you have a party when you came home?
Well, Spaulding would let us leave rehab every so often, like once a week to go see people. Every time I’d come home it’d be a festival, like everyone was at the Babe Ruth Field. I’d go to one of my little brother’s (games), all my friends were there with signs and everything like that. It was awesome, people were great and it made me feel really good about myself, like I had all these friends, you know that all the relationships that I’ve made with these people actually mean something, you know?
And what happened actually, they threw a fund raiser for me when I came back at the Babe Ruth Field. And we raised so much money to help pay for rehab and all the medical bills and things like that I can’t thank Leominster (home town) enough for that. We got some good people here so.
Is there anything specific about those, that community support after TBI, coming home, that you want to add?
I just want to thank, you know Jeff for holding the fundraiser and everyone that came out to support me. I mean it’s just like, I know I was like, I don’t know… I guess people knew who I was because of sports and everyone that I met through sports came out to you know show their support and it’s just, it’s really a great thing, people like that.
Recovery from severe brain injury is not measured in IQ scores. Recovery is measured by the level of return to independence, in the laboratory of life – the real world. The real world equals community. If success if measured by integration into the community, the best way to maximize that return is with a community that opens its arms, not just to the survivor, but the possibility of recovery.
For more on the critical role that community support after TBI can make in rehabilitation, click here. https://tbilaw.com/tbivoices/lethan-community-support-after-brain-injury/
Next in Part Thirteen
Adjusting to High School After Severe TBI
Family and classmates were really supportive of my rehab. It’s very uplifting to know so many people want to see you back the way you were as soon as possible.