March: Celebrate Societies Greatest Thinkers

March: Celebrate Societies Greatest Thinkers

Brain injury changes everything. ‘Molly’ had a severe brain injury from carbon monoxide poisoning. The hotel she was staying in had a gas leak. Her husband died as he lay next to her in bed. Nine days later she awoke in a coma, as a different person than she once was.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is “an injury to the brain caused by an external force after birth, such as a bump or jolt or a penetration to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” A TBI injury can be the result of a motor vehicle crash, fall, assault, blast or explosion, gunshot wound, or car collision.

Molly had earned degrees from both Stanford and Yale and had been a publishing executive, and an extraordinary athlete. After the gas leak incident, “she didn’t know the difference between a hairbrush and a hammer.” She had to re-learn how to walk and swallow again. About all that she retained was the ability to read, and she knew her family and friends.

There is a book based on Molly’s life, before and after the terrible incident. A Normal Life tells the story of a sister’s brain injury — how it changed her and impacted her close relationships. Her story details how her “entire family was turned inside out by the harrowing complexities of this most damaging and mysterious of injuries.”

March is recognized as National Brain Injury Awareness month. If you know someone with a brain injury in your life, it may be a good time to consider what their life is like. These are important questions to ask yourself. Statistically, it is predictable that many of us will be impacted by some form of brain injury during our lifetimes. Don’t let brain injury continue to be an “invisible injury” just because its severe complications are not always recognizable on the outside.

5.3 million Americans are living with a TBI and will continue to suffer from it over the long-term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In each case, the individuals family members, loved ones, and friends were impacted by the brain injury. 1.7 to 2.4 million new TBI cases are reported every year. At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, over 30 percent of soldiers have received a TBI.

A psychologist who was helping Molly early in her treatment collected the entire family and told them, “when one person in the family gets a brain injury, everyone in the family gets a brain injury.” Brain injury will alter how a person “thinks, reacts, learns, communicates, and behaves physically and emotionally.” These, often permanent changes, will impact everyone’s personal relationships.

The lawyers at Miller Thomson understand the needs of our clients and we treat those suffering from traumatic brain injuries with the respect they deserve. If someone you know has received a TBA due to the negligence of someone else, let us help them regain their dignity and quality of life. Call our law office in Edmonton today.