Few injuries are as mysterious as brain injuries can be. While some in Chicago have experienced a traumatic brain injury with little long-term effects -- maybe a concussion that was properly treated -- and the individual is able to move forward with his or her life with little difficulty.
Then, there are some brain injuries that leave family members gathered by their loved ones bedside, hoping to see a glimmer of recognition in his or her eyes once more. Serious injuries such as these are often experienced in car accidents or falls. In one such case, a man has been fighting to regain the wife he believes he lost a part of.
A car accident in 2009 completely altered the life of a newlywed couple and the expected future they might have had. Following the accident, the wife was left with severe brain damage, so severe in fact that she was put into a coma. Doctors told her husband that she would likely have cognitive abilities listed somewhere between brain dead and vegetative.
Physicians told him that her recovery would likely be an arduous one, filled with uncertainty.
Three years later, her husband is still caring for her. Since her coma, she has regained some of her brain function but is still unable to control basic functions. Regularly, she experiences confusion and distortions of reality that cause her to have emotional outbursts. Her husband stands by her, tending to her every need. If she needs to move from one room to another, he carries her. If she needs to eat, he feeds her. If she needs to bathe, he washes her.
In addition to all of these things, he does daily therapy exercises with her that could one day allow her to regain her physical and mental strength.
Her husband has said that he knows that if he were in her position, he would want someone to care for him to the best of that person's abilities. He has been taking it one day at a time, doing his best to make the right choices on important decisions for the two of them. The emotional toll that this has taken on him is noticeable, though. He relies on friends, family and a local organization to deal with the emotional stress that the accident has caused him.
Source: WJLA, "Traumatic brain injuries challenge marriages," Pamela Brown, April 30, 2012