Carolyn Rocchio: A Mother and Caregiver's Story

Carolyn Rocchio, a mother and longtime caregiver as well as a nationally recognized advocate, author, and speaker in the field of brain injury, shares the story of her son's brain injury.

This is an excerpt from BrainLine's webcast Caregiving and TBI: What You Need to Know. See full webcast here.

Tim was injured in an auto crash. He was a passenger--just 3 blocks from home. A little horseplay on the part of the driver. He was thrown out of the car. He ended up in the grass. He was in a comma for 3 months--42 days on the critical list--had 5 major fractures. The entire skull was eggshell fractures. He lacerated a right optic nerve, so lost vision in one eye-- multiple bodily injuries that weren't even addressed initially. Tracheostomy, gastrostomy for nourishment. Later a ventriculoperitoneal shunt to drain the excess fluid from the brain. But gradually, at about 3 months, he began to awaken, and we transferred to an out-of-state rehabilitation facility where he began to progress. At 5 months, he uttered the first sound that he made. At 6 months, he was able to stand and support himself, and then he walked at 8 months. So it was a gradual recovery. Later he spent time in a rehab out in California, where the goal was very different. It was to reach an optimal level of independence, which unfortunately, Tim is not independent, but has wonderful skills that make him less dependent on me.
Posted on BrainLine May 27, 2011.