Traumatic Brain Injury Darin Nail

Traumatic brain injuries come in many different forms and from many different situations and circumstances. As the name suggests, they stem from trauma to the skull and brain and are usually caused by a physical impact of some kind but can also be caused by a bleed in the brain or some other kind of internal injury. The symptoms may include cognitive impairment such as confusion, amnesia, difficulty thinking and understanding, etc. and can last the person's entire life if severe enough, especially when incidents occur in infancy.

I have a cousin, Morgan who has sustained a traumatic brain injury when he was a very young child. When I asked my aunt to tell me about it because i was doing research this is what she told me.

"Morgan sustained a frontal lobe injury when he was 20 months old when his head was hit against a brick fireplace. He was immediately rendered unconscious and began seizing. He was placed in cold water, which dropped his core temp to around 70 degrees. He was then transported to the hospital, then flown to a trauma center. At the time of his arrival, his retinas were detached and his occipital bones above his right eye were broken. He was kept in a coma for several days to allow the brain swelling to go down. After a few weeks in the hospital, he was released to a therapeutic foster care facility. Some of the long term affects: 1) He can be at a 10th grade reading level one day, and 2nd grade the next. TBI patients often roller coaster with their capabilities. 2) Judgement is always an issue. Choosing any option, not necessarily the best one, is good enough 3) He is a 12 or 13 year old boy in a 26 year old man's body. He's capable on some days of making good decisions, but on other days, it's like reasoning with a middle schooler 4) Change is a disaster. He is very schedule oriented. He would do well in a manufacturing setting where the widget goes in the same dohicky every time. 5) He is capable of learning. He taught himself to play guitar, but cannot scramble an egg without burning it 6) Multiple step instructions will not be followed. Last Saturday, I asked him to go pick up a power amp, close the box and put it in the back seat of the truck. I emphasized "back seat". I went on Monday to get it, and it was in the back..... the bed.... of the truck. 7) He is pretty high functioning in that he takes care of his own hygiene and such 8) He cannot handle finances at all. Even counting money is an issue."

Although I do not live close to him anymore, we are still close. He and his family used to live in New Mexico, as did my family and I. My aunt has 5 adopted children, Morgan included. The event she told me about was before she adopted him but still has lasting effects.

Traumatic brain injuries are usually regarded as single events that have devastating effects for a time and then they heal and move on. But this is not always the case, as evidenced by my cousins circumstances. They are a very serious thing and if severe enough or left untreated for too long, they can have lasting effects that influence they rest of one's life.

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