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Brain trauma can affect the family as well as the victim

When we talk about brain trauma in this blog, we often discuss the symptoms that victims commonly endure, such as dizziness, nausea, cognitive problems and memory loss. These symptoms affect the victim most directly, but they can also affect the quality of life of the victim’s family. Spouses and children may become the victim’s caregivers, at least temporarily, which can be an emotional and financial drain.

Some traumatic brain injuries are so profound, that they essentially change the victim’s personality. That can make it even harder for the family, who must re-introduce themselves to the “new” spouse or parent, and learn to live with him or her.

That struggle is the subject of a new book written by the wife of a man who suffered memory loss from a TBI suffered during surgery in 2003. He lost his memories of most of his life, and did not recognize his wife or their children.

The injury also affected his personality. According to his wife, he went from a “big, magnetic, charismatic” personality to someone who was withdrawn and unable to carry on a conversation or use proper table manners. With the help of his wife and kids, he was able to relearn these skills, and worked hard to regain his ability to work as a physical therapist.

But the memory loss and personality change were almost too much for the wife to bear. It was devastating to her that he could not remember their first date, their wedding or the birth of their children. She admits in an interview with KOMO-TV that she considered divorce.

Litigation may not be able to preserve a marriage after someone negligently gives someone else a brain injury, but it can help bring financial relief and closure to the victim and his or her family.

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