“Learning by Accident is an amazing love story, brain injury story, family story, and inspirational story all in one. The Rawlins’ difficult journey will leave you realizing that anything is possible if you have a strong family.”
– Jeff Ruskan, Chief Executive Officer
Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Virginia
“After more than 25 years working in brain injury as an Occupational Therapist, and as much as I know about its aftermath, Learning by Accident provided me with a much richer understanding of the emotional devastation it causes. This book will make you cry, laugh, give thanks, and believe in the power of love.”
Anne McDonnell, Executive Director,
The Brain Injury Association of Virginia
I attended an educational conference once where the speaker spoke on individuals with disabilities and how difficult it can be for them to integrate in society and build community. He then went on to give an example on how acquired disabilities can make the task of building community even more difficult due to the individual remembering how they once interacted in community and how they were accepted in society prior to their acquired disability.
5:56 am 9:52 am 4:40 pm 1 minute to 1.45+ minutes
These were the times Samuel had seizures yesterday and for how long.
They started early in the morning at home and continued the rest of the day. They were full clonic tonic seizures just like before.
The change this time was there were 3 in less than 12 hours, he took longer to regain consciousness and he was throwing up the first two.
Our family doctor got through to our Winnipeg doctors and it was decided that Sam’s med’s would be increased (thankfully we had room to move there) and that only if he seizures again after this will we go to Winnipeg.
Family caregivers move through several seasons or stages as their loved one progresses through treatment in the intensive care unit, to inpatient rehabilitation, and finally back home. But we know that’s only a new beginning- not a finish line. Each stage comes with its own emotional responses and tasks to learn.
As moms and dads, we tend to worry about what our kids will be like when they grow up. Are we doing a good job now? Will they appreciate things that we do now, later in life? Am I doing this right? I have people ask me all the time “how do you do it!?” My answer is ‘usually with lots of prayer’… but when it comes down to it… I don’t even know if I AM ‘doing it’. Most days I wonder …
The weather has been extremely unusual in Canada this year. Normally, we could be outdoors at the beach by now, instead the weather warms only intermittently. Even if the sun doesn’t shine, people can still enjoy outdoor activities, which are essential to a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle
On June 29, 2005, I sustained a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) while working as a stagehand and setting up for a Santana concert. My whole life changed in one quick second as my feet left the stage, my head hit the cement floor below, and my whole body went into seizures. Then everything stopped. Many of my friends and co-workers thought I was dead. But I survived! I am still surviving.
People often tell me they would like to write a book or an article about their personal story. The problem is they don’t know where to begin. Writing a book is a tremendous undertaking and putting together an article is challenging too. However, keep your eye on the prize because there is power in your story… power to heal you and to inspire others. Below are some suggestions to help you get started:
When our son, Jeffrey, was born severely brain injured it absolutely rattled our world. We had no indication anything was wrong during the pregnancy. Everything was as it should be. (Utimately, it was a doctor’s error during delivery that was to blame…) Perhaps the greatest challenge to us following Jeffrey’s birth was to learn to stay positive. In the beginning, I remember how often I cried. I sobbed when I saw other kids cooing in strollers. I cried when I saw a parent be too rough with his child in the supermarket. I even cried when I took a bath at night. I just couldn’t imagine how something so dreadful had happened to our little boy. The doctors were never optimistic. We found doctors’ appointments to be extrememly hard to prepare for. We knew the prognosis for our little guy would be far from positive.
It happened on a spring night in May – driving home from church with my younger brother and after dropping off my girlfriend after a Wendys’ dinner. It was about 5-10 minutes before I had to be home while someone (the writer of this email) forgot to use the restroom before he quickly rushed out of his girlfriend’s house to hurry, get home, and not be late…