After a debilitating accident occurred last year, a 55-year-old woman is trying to regain portions of her former self. Three goals that she has set for herself include being able to speak again, to walk more and to regain the strength in her right hand. Currently, she cannot verbally communicate with more than one word.
On March 2, 2011, the 55-year-old former nurse was run over by a pickup truck while walking into work. She received a very serious head injury that required a portion of her brain to be removed. The brain injury caused by complications from the accident has left her in a state that is, regrettably, less than the one she was in before the crash.
Records show that doctors chose to remove a portion of her brain to stop bleeding. She had been rushed into surgery after the accident and died on the operating table twice. Still alive, she had several broken bones and could not move her right leg or right arm for six months following the accident. According to her son, who was in India when the accident happened, the biggest concern was for her ability to speak.
Though she is still only able to speak a single word, her facial expressions allow those that communicate with her to understand what she truly means.
Fortunately for the woman, she has begun using an iPad to communicate. Certain applications on the device allow her to program phrases and sayings so that she can communicate to others on her own, without the assistance of a therapist or her loved ones.
According to her, she is excited and relieved that she has regained a way to speak. Some of the staff that work at the rehabilitation center she now lives at have said that she is practicing regularly on her own in the hopes that she will one day be able to communicate without the assistance of the iPad.
Her determination should serve as an inspiration to others that have received debilitating brain injuries throughout Illinois.
Source: USA Today, "iPad helps brain-injured woman express herself," Jill Callison, April 7, 2012