Jessica’s Journey—Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke at Ohio State


At the scene she had to be intubated. She
did not, she was not able to breathe on her own. After that in the hospital, Jessica had
some complications. So they had to actually go in to her brain and relieve the pressure
from the bleed on her brain. And so she actually had a procedure called a craniectomy where
they took her, took a bone flap off and to evacuate the blood that was in her brain.
And then as a complication of all of her injuries and her medical care, she actually had, ended
up having a stroke on top of the brain injury. She had a what we call she had a severe traumatic
brain injury with multiple trauma. When she came to Ohio State, when she was medically
stabilized they had to actually place a peg tube in her stomach to help her with nutrition.
She had a tracheostomy to help her with breathing. She had been but she had been weaned off the
ventilator and she had a brace for her knee. And when she first came to Dodd, she was alert
and awake, but she was not able to communicate. The biggest thing was speech because that’s
something that I know it in my head but I couldn’t say it for the longest time. It was
something that I had to really focus on. Her speech was very, very broken. She had a hard
time even getting the simplest of words out and a very hard time understanding what people
were saying to her too. She also had an apraxia where sometimes she knew what she wanted to
say but getting that connection from her brain to her mouth and her articulators was pretty
difficult and she would struggle. I remember Meredith, she helped me to stand up and I
was just so excited like I’m up but but she had to work with me because my knees it really
it it it’s really hard for me. I didn’t think that I’ll walk and then to run again and now
like I go to the Y all the time and some of that stuff that I had to still work on and
it’s just like I had to do it and do it and each time to just get better and better and
better. Jess’s husband Josh is one of the biggest strengths that she has. He constantly
works with her every day. He’s a therapist’s dream in that we could train him to give her
the correct amount of assistance without doing things for her. I was kind of like ready but
it’s kind of like hard. Where do I start? So my husband too, he was going to help me
to cook again. Well I got home and the very first thing I told my husband, I said I want
to walk and so I did and I had my dogs so I liked to take my dogs for a walk. I’ve never
had a patient who is able to just try again as much as she did and she would try so hard,
all the time and she was such a hard worker. And the fact that she didn’t let her frustration
be a barrier was what made her so successful. With her injury, she had both a traumatic
brain injury and a stroke following her traumatic brain injury, she should not have recovered
as well as she has but she has pushed through. She never stops working. Her determination
is what made her get there. One of Jess’s main goals was getting back to running a 5k.
So she actually there was a 5k in near her hometown in Galion and Lisa and I, her occupational
therapist went up there to – we didn’t run it – we walked it with her. She won the race.
She did fantastic. She’s amazing. My family here, they’re my family because they they’ve
always been there and I just love them. They’re my family.

2 thoughts on “Jessica’s Journey—Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke at Ohio State

  1. What an awesome recovery story. Jessica's injuries and ones that I suffered are nearly identical. My accident happened earlier in life so if you know anyone that is going through this and wants to talk to someone who knows its like you can have them message me.

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