You rushed to your family member’s bedside at North Kansas City Hospital, hoping at praying that he would be okay. He was unconscious and had to be pulled from the car, but the doctor said he would pull through. You breathed a sigh of relief, but it was short-lived: the doctor gently told you that he may have suffered brain damage—and it might take months before the full extent of the trauma was known.
How to Prepare for the First Year of Brain Injury Recovery
It is important to recognize that both brain injury patients and their families will go through daily struggles in the year after a traumatic accident. It is important for everyone to stay positive and calm and maintain an encouraging attitude to help your loved one recover.
The biggest improvements will happen in the first six months after an injury. At first, patients are confused or disoriented after a traumatic brain injury. They may have amnesia, difficulty choosing the right words, or be unable to communicate at all—leading to frustration, anger, or depression. Families may be disturbed by the out-of-character behavior of their loved one, and must remember that these reactions are often temporary.
As a patient’s injuries heal, he may show improvement with memory and problem-solving skills, and seem to be getting better with each passing week. He may need help with some daily tasks or forget information easily, but family members can take precaution and provide support to avoid frustration when lapses occur.
Recovery Will Often Level Off After Two Years of Brain Injury Treatment
While every patient recovers differently, it is generally true that brain injury patients will not show significant improvement after two years have passed since the accident. While most people who suffer a moderate to severe TBI will show slight decreases in disability, many patients will require some form of additional help for the rest of their lives, including:
- Occasional or constant supervision during the day or night.
- Full-time residence at a private or medical facility.
- Living with loved ones, such as parents or significant others.
- Unemployment or early retirement benefits.
The best indicators of how well a person will recover from a brain injury are the extent of the injury, the length of time a person remains in a coma, and how long a person suffers from memory loss after regaining consciousness. In the most severe cases, a TBI patient may never wake up from a coma, placing his family in a nearly impossible situation when making choices for her future.
If someone you love is in a coma after a crash, we can help. Click the link on this page to find out what your legal rights are, and how we can help your loved one get the care she needs to recover.