Her story may sound all too familiar to some parents in New Mexico. One of her four sons was involved in a serious car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. This was in 2000, when he was an 18-year-old high school senior. The accident rendered him unable to speak.
Initially, doctors were confident that the young man could begin rehabilitation. During the two weeks after the accident, he was in a coma part of the time, but doctors still thought there was a chance.
Sadly, after only two days of rehab, the young man was found by nurses to be unresponsive. He didn't have a pulse.
Back at the hospital, he was revived, but he had suffered additional brain damage because of lack of oxygen.
After that, his parents took turns caring for him while they continued to work, pay bills and raise the other three children. The mother even took classes to get her certification as a nursing assistant.
She began to care for her son almost full-time. She worked as a nurse on the weekends while her husband took over care duties. The recreation room in the family home was turned into a room with two beds, one for the young man and one for his mother.
She organized his doctor's appointments, fed him through a feeding tube, oversaw his physical therapy and studied medical texts in an effort to help doctors diagnose her son when problems occurred.
This went on for 13 years, and late last month, the mother came into her son's room to find that he had passed away.
Now, after so much effort caring for her child, she is having a hard time knowing what to do with herself.
Stories like this remind us of the struggles faced by brain injury victims and their families. In these cases, when a serious injury was caused by another party's negligence, families need to be aware of their right to seek compensation for damages. A settlement in such a case could provide the family with the means to get the proper care and rehabilitation for their injured loved one.
Source: Gaston Gazette, "After 13 years of care, mom loses son who suffered brain injury," Diane Turbyfill, Sept. 8, 2013