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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC was one of last year’s big new shows. Now in this season’s recent premier, the popular TV show is featuring brain injury and the complex nature of recovery.
In last season’s finale, one of the show’s characters, Leo Fitz, played by Iain De Caestecker suffered a serious brain injury when his modular science lab was sent to the bottom of the ocean (it is, after all, an adventure series). Regular viewers were left with the cliffhanger of “he’s alive” to learn the character’s fate.
The season premier showed Fitz struggling to do work he would have breezed through in Season 1, and stumbling over words and ideas. In an prime-time series twist, the end of the premier reveals that he is also hallucinating the presence of his lab partner Jemma Simmons, played by Elizabeth Henstridge.
That kind of complex hallucinations are very rare and a product of the show seeking high ratings. But many brain injury victims do suffer the more subtle cognitive symptoms Fitz demonstrated throughout the show.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also demonstrated the moment-to-moment nature of traumatic brain injury. Fitz identifies key tests that another character missed in one scene, and in another has to admit to setbacks in his own work. This sometimes staggering recovery can be one of the biggest frustrations for head injury patients, and can sometimes cause them to lose their jobs, homes, and support structure.
The show adds to the recent push by advocacy agencies to increase public awareness of concussions on the sports field and from car accidents. It can help caregivers understand the struggles of brain injury recovery. The publicity also encourages mental health providers to keep a sharp eye out for its symptoms.
It’s important for head injury patients to have the best support team available – both medical and legal. If you or someone you love has suffered brain injury as a result of an automobile accident, contact the experts at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. David Christensen and his team will sit down with you and help you get the recovery you deserve.