Jun 29, 2021 Latest post:
Jul 31, 2021
On June 18th, 2021, our sweet, 20 year old daughter, Zoe, was a passenger on the receiving end of a high speed, t-bone accident. She took a direct hit and rear passenger airbags saved her life. (Although a low hanging ceiling rail hit her in the head when the airbag deployed). Along with widespread contusions, and fractures in her pelvis, she suffered seizures en route to the hospital where she was confirmed to have a traumatic brain injury - a significant, grade 2 DAI (Diffuse Axonal Injury). This means that throughout her brain, countless, long, nerve fibers called axons have been irreparably sheared. Think shaken baby syndrome except in a young adult.
She was cared for in the ICU and Brain Trauma PCU - intubated and completely unconscious for 15 hours, and in a post traumatic amnesia state for 8+ days. A week after the accident, she was medically transferred to the neuro unit of an in-patient rehab hospital for intensive cognitive, occupational and physical therapy, new and improved medications, as well as much needed rest. She has a team of nurses, specialists, and doctors caring for and working with her 24/7. We were told by therapists on the 25th that she is still in the acute stage of her brain injuries but should clear that soon. Hopefully within a couple weeks she will be able to return home with safety and rehabilitative services in place.
She is fortunate to be alive. She has maintained most of her vocabulary and educational knowledge, and she recognizes people. However she suffers from varying levels of executive dysfunction. She has lucid hours now where she is only slightly confused and others where her deficits are quite apparent - mostly when she is waking up or extra tired.
She tires and gets distracted easily with eating, personal care, and walking. She isn't cleared to do any of these things outside of arms reach and assistance of a nurse or occupational therapist. Her bed is still armed with alarms should she attempt too much. She is getting better day by day. Her mantra is, "Well...It is what it is", numerous times a day.
Full and long term prognosis is unknown, BUT, being that she is young, basically cognizant and able to follow some direction in therapies is encouraging news. She is already working very hard. The road of recovery with a DAI is a difficult and strenuous one. The facts and science behind brain plasticity are encouraging and that is our focus. So many of us are feeling like we see so much of the typical Zoe with her usual quirks.
The action plan with her medical teams and family is: 1. Acute inpatient rehabilitation 2. An outpatient day rehab program, 6 hrs a day for 8-12 weeks. 3. Individual outpatient therapy
Please keep Zoe in your most kind thoughts as she overcomes the biggest challenges of her life yet. Please also send positivity to her caregivers, family members and friends. She is surrounded by a lot of love and hasn't been alone for a moment. She is happy with her treatment teams, but cannot wait to come home. -Zoe's mom and dad