Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’s Resignation a Reminder that Recovering From a Serious Traumatic Brain Injury Can Be a Tough, Long Road
This week, Rep. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) handed in her resignation from the US Congress. The 41-year-old congresswoman sustained a traumatic brain injury over a year ago when she was shot in the head outside a Safeway in Arizona. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, injured 19 people on January 8, 2011, killing six of them. While Giffords has made remarkable progress since that day, she still has a long way to go.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Recovering from a brain injury can be a long road and not everyone fully recovers. Many TBIs can prove fatal—as evidenced by the death earlier this month of Canadian freeskier Sarah Burke, who sustained severe head injuries during a superpipe training run. The 29-year-old athlete died nine days after the January 10 skiing accident in Utah.
In South Florida, our Miami traumatic brain injury law firm represents clients injured in motor vehicle crashes, premises liability accidents or as a result of medical malpractice, defective products, or nursing home abuse. Or other personal injury related accidents. We know the financial and emotional toll that a TBI can take on the victim and his/her loved ones.
Depending on the severity of one’s brain injury, recovery can come quickly or not. There are two main kinds of TBIs:
Closed Head Injuries: Usually involves a blow (or something striking against) the brain. This can lead to primary damage, which occurs immediately upon impact and may include nerve damage, blood clots, contusions, lacerations, or a skull fracture, or secondary brain damage, which develops over time following the incident of trauma and can involve epilepsy, brain swelling, intracranial infection, intracranial pressure, hematoma, fever, changes in blood pressure, anemia, low sodium, not enough or too much carbon dioxide, cardiac changes, nutritional changes, lung changes, and/or abnormal blood coagulation.
Penetrating Injuries: A foreign objects enters the brain, causing brain damage. The symptoms are different depending on which part of the brain suffered damage.
Serious brain injuries can lead to cognitive difficulties, communication problems, memory loss, confusion, expressive aphasia, vision loss, receptive aphasia, sensory issues, hearing problems, chronic pain, seizures, paralysis, sleep problems, spasticity, personality changes, brain death, depression, coma, and death. Treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, and ongoing care for a TBI can be costly. The victim may no longer be able to work or maintain the same quality of relationship as he/she did with loved ones and friends prior to the accident and medical bills may accrue.
Gabrielle Giffords Resigns From Congress, ABC News, January 25, 2012
Sarah Burke dies from injuries, ESPN, January 20, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Pro Golfer’s Son Sustains Head Injuries in Palm Beach County Semi-Truck Crash, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, December 2, 2011
West Palm Beach Artist Awarded $2.1 Million for Traumatic Brain Injury from Car Accident, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, May 27, 2008
Hulk Hogan Is Sued In Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit By Family Of Man Seriously Hurt in Car Crash With Wrestler’s Son, Florida Injury Attorney Blog, March 24, 2008