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Brain Injury Victims Speak Out

What does it mean to survive a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Beyond the statistics and the scientific treatments, the survivors’ stories tell the real story of recovery.

Traumatic Brain Injury affects over 10,000 Michigan residents every year. Over 50% of emergency department visits are by people 25 years old or younger. Those young people face a lifetime of recovery. But will they ever be completely healed?

“No one 100 percent recovers. Ever,” said Gina Simanek, a brain injury survivor, mental health counselor and ombudsman with Brain Injury Association of Nebraska. “It affects everything — physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively.”

Recovery can take months, like it did for Micah Fulmer:

“My first 20 surgeries were on my brain, head and neck. The next 10 surgeries were on my shoulder and legs. I had 39 surgeries in my first three weeks in the ICU. … I coded five times that first week. I was in the intensive care unit for two months.”

Over the next 16 months, Fulmer had to relearn everything. But after six years, “there still are little things I don’t comprehend and still need to relearn.”

The affects can be even bigger when the accident happens when a child is very young. Alexis Verzal suffered her TBI at the tender age of 14 months. Her father described it:

“She was blind. She was like a newborn baby. She couldn’t move her arms and legs, she couldn’t talk. She pretty much screamed 20 hours a day, an ear-piercing screaming. … Doctors told us to take her home, and that when the drugs wear off she might be OK.”

Seven years later she is still making progress week to week and year to year.

The one thing that is common is that survivors and their families feel frustrated. They face years of intensive rehabilitation and therapy and progress can often feel slow.

The last thing these families need is to fight insurance companies for coverage, but often the insurance companies will try to cut off coverage just when the families are at their wits’ end. When that happens, they need the brain injury experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. David Christensen and his team can help TBI sufferers get the benefits they deserve and the recovery they need. If you know someone who is recovering from a concussion or other brain injury, contact Christensen Law today for a free consultation.