A motor vehicle accident may result in any number of injuries. Among the most severe is a traumatic brain injury. Since the brain controls every other function in the body, damage to any portion of it may leave the victim with significant deficits that can be challenging to overcome. Additionally, the family of a brain injury victim may wonder what to expect in the weeks and months following the accident.
Everyone’s recovery is different, and there are countless variables that may determine how long your loved one’s recovery will take and how much progress it will involve. However, despite the complexities of brain injuries, doctors have determined a series of phases the victim of a severe injury may go through on the road to regain some normalcy and quality of life.
Three important stages at the beginning
A severe brain injury may leave your loved one in a coma. Your loved one’s Texas doctor will know more, but it is possible that the coma is allowing the brain to begin the healing process. He or she is deeply unconscious, unable to respond or communicate, and requiring assistance for everything, including eating, moving, and perhaps even breathing. After several days or weeks, doctors may begin to see some improvement.
Many who remain in a coma following traumatic brain injuries eventually progress to a vegetative state. This phase is marked by some reflexes and responses, such as reacting to pain or startling at a loud noise. If you see these responses in your loved one, it is important to know that they are not conscious motions but rather reflex responses. However, they may indicate progress and healing. If brain injury victims become aware of their surroundings and occasionally respond to commands, they have moved to the minimally-conscious stage.
What comes next
Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how much progress your loved one will make following a traumatic brain injury. Some victims can achieve some independence, improved memory and cognition, and methods of compensating for any deficits the accident left them with. Others may stall at one of the earlier stages of recovery, reaching limited mobility and requiring comprehensive care for the rest of their lives. When this happens, your loved one will need encouragement to persevere and continue making progress.
No matter what the future may hold for you and your family, you would be wise to surround yourself with positive people who can support you and offer assistance for your physical, emotional, financial and legal challenges.