A mother’s account of life after her daughter sustains a traumatic brain injury.
Tania was a bold, energetic 13-year-old on her way home from gymnastics practice when she was in a severe car crash and suffered a serious brain injury. After being in a coma for nine months, Tania woke up and could not speak, and her vision, memory and ability to walk were also greatly impaired. Though her family was thrilled that she had come out of the coma, they knew a long, uncertain road was ahead. During this time, Burgess-Smith returned to school to earn a doctorate degree in clinical psychology. Her dissertation research focused on the experiences of mothers who had children with traumatic brain injuries. In this book, the author shares her findings, focusing on emotional issues and the grieving process, the seemingly insurmountable time and stress issues, the search for spiritual answers and the professional support that is often either unavailable or lacking depth. Burgess-Smith writes about Tania’s accident, those first agonizing months and the more than 20 years that have followed. She also shares interviews with other mothers who’ve had similar experiences and her realizations derived from both personal experience and research, the first of which is that rehabilitation is a lifelong process. Burgess-Smith stresses that the emotions, particularly isolation and loneliness, that the injured face must be addressed. Likewise, parents must plan for when they will no longer be able to care for their child. The book concludes with tips on coping with stress, providing resources on the many issues family members of brain-injured individuals face. The book is a valuable, in-depth resource for anyone who has a loved one with a brain injury, whether they are facing the initial trauma or staring down the long road of recovery.
A wealth of wisdom and resources regarding the life-altering experience of a brain injury.