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Stories of Amazing Recoveries from Brain Injury

Leah Lusby

January 5, 2006

MY NAME IS LEAH LUSBY I WAS 24 WHEN I GOT INTO THE CAR ACCIDENT. I WAS DRINKING BUT I HAD ENOUGH SENSE TO ASK SOMEONE ELSE TO DRIVE. THAT PERSON WAS DRUNK TOO. I SUFFERED A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY. I WAS IN A COMA FOR THREE MONTHS. I WAS AIR LIFTED TO JOHN MUIR HOSPITAL IN CALIFORNIA FIRST. THEN I WENT TO A HOME FOR THE ELDERLY. WHAT A PLACE FOR SOMEONE 24 YEARS OLD TO BE. AFTER THE ELDERLY HOME I WENT TO KAISER IN VALLEJO. THAT WAS THE BEST PLACE FOR ME TO BE THEY DEAL STRICTLY DEAL WITH BRAIN INJURIES. LUCKILY I LIVE IN VALLEJO. I STAYED AT KAISER FOR TWO STAYS. I ENDED UP BEING PARALYZED ON MY LEFT SIDE. LUCKILY I'M RIGHT HANDED. ALL THE NURSES SAID IT LOOKED LIKE I HAD A STROKE, I GUESS I HAVE A LOT OF THE SYMPTOMS THAT STROKE PATIENTS HAVE. THE DOCTORS HAD TO PREPARE MY FAMILY FOR THE WORST. AT FIRST THE DOCTORS SAID I WOULD BE TOTALLY BED RIDDEN OR MAYBE EVEN WORSE THAN THAT. AT FIRST I WAS BED RIDDEN BECAUSE I WAS IN SO MUCH PAIN. I WANTED BACK IN BED IMMEDIATELY AFTER CLASS. I USED TO GET REALLY RUDE WITH ALL THE NURSES. AFTER A LONG WHILE I REALIZED WHEELCHAIR WAS ONE OF MY CLOSEST FRIENDS. NOW I STAY UP IN MY CHAIR UNTIL IT'S TIME TO GO TO SLEEP. MY MOM AND DAD WANT TO TAKE ME BACK TO JOHN MUIR SO I CAN SEE ALL THE TUBES I WAS HOOKED UP TO. MY MOM SAYS TO ME I HAD A TUBE IN EVERY HOLE, IF THERE WASN'T A HOLE THERE ONE WAS CUT. I THINK I HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM WHERE THE DOCTORS HAVE TOLD MY DAD I COULD BE AT. I'M SO GLAD I HAD INSURANCE WHEN ALL THIS TOOK PLACE, MY DAD SAYS ALL THE HELICOPTER FLIGHTS, AMBULANCE RIDES COST MY INSURANCE ABOUT ONE MILLION, CLOSER TO TWO MILLION DOLLARS. IN FEBRUARY IT WILL HAVE BEEN A YEAR SINCE THE ACCIDENT. I SUFFERED A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY, IT'S ALMOST LIKE YOU HAVE TOO RE-TRAIN YOUR BRAIN. I FIND MYSELF CONSTANTLY TRYING TO REMEMBER THINGS. YOU HAVE TOO THINK A LOT ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING. A LOT MORE THAN YOU EVER DID BEFORE THE BRAIN INJURY.