Family Destroyed

Last Thursday my cousin was hit by a car and suffered fractures to the skull. They induced her and removed part of her skull to let the pressure go down. She is now stable but unable to wake up because her sub conscious part of her brain is damaged and unable to wake her up. They have told us the path might find a way but might not and she has suffered a lot of nerve damage. Has anyone come across anything like this please??

13 Replies

  • Sorry to hear about your cousin Bethany. The surgeons will always present the 'worst case scenario' to prepare loved ones for the worst outcome, although with today's expertise on brain surgery there is every chance of a satisfactory outcome for her.

    I had a haemorrhage almost 4 years ago and, at the time my family were warned that survival wasn't guaranteed and it was a 'wait & watch' situation. They said it was the worst thing they'd ever had to endure but, gradually, I recovered to where I am now ; some residual issues but otherwise functioning ok.

    The surgeons are skilled and dedicated and will have done everything possible for your cousin but they never commit themselves to a prognosis. I hope you can all be strong whilst healing takes place and, hopefully, brings about gradual improvements each day.

    All best wishes to you & your family. xx

  • i agree with cat and also send best wishes xxxx

  • Hi, my queation to you is are u able to be back to work normally afyer the trauma. If so how long it took for u?

  • So sorry to hear about your cousin. It's a waiting game to see the outcome. I was told 'we're doing our best to keep him alive, then we'll talk about the prognosis.' This was following a subarachnoid haemorrhage.

    Miraculously he survived and apart from a few subtle differences, has done well.

    I was absolutely devastated and a friend told me to take things a minute, an hour, a day at a time, this was such good advice and got me through a horrendous time.

    Unfortunately for now all you can do is wait and rest assured that she is being well looked after. It's such early days still.

    You take care xx

  • Please be patient, the advice already given to you is spot on. There are many of us on here whose families were told the same, my husband was even advised to put DNR on my notes because if I did wake I would be in a permanent vegetative state. Not true, they just don't know.

    It is down to rhe individual as to how they will recover.

    So lots of love and hope on your family's behalf, speak to her lots, I could still hear snatches when in my coma, play her her favourite music and read to her, anything to stimulate her brain and let her know she's being loved and cared for.

    I was 3 weeks in the coma, agony for everyone concerned and I've had to regain a lot of skills I had before, but it's amazing what the brain can do.

    Take care Janet xxxx

  • M had a similar operation and we were told there was no guarantees. He was in a medical coma for the first week and then they took him off the drugs but he didn't respond in a positive way. After three days they had to put him back in another medical coma. Again after a few days they tried to bring him out but he didn't respond. We were told to expect the worse and start to think about whether machines should be switched off. Finally about three weeks after his accident he started to respond and pull tubes out. At this point it became a question of how he would actually be in terms of memory, ability etc. A year later and he is still in rehab but we are starting building works to bring him home in a couple of months. He has severe left sided weakness and can only walk short distances with a stick and someone with him but the overall progress is incredible. He is fortunate that he has suffered very little cognitive damage and has his personality and memory intact. The doctors at the hospital are amazed at how well he's done.

    At the time when they were telling me to prepare for the worst I decided that the only way to get through was to take each day at a time. Thinking about what could happen in the future was more than I could cope with. Although it was devastating to be told that he might never wake up and I might have to make the decision to switch off machines, I didn't want false hope.

    Apologies for the ramble but I'd agree with the other comments, it's very early days and the medical staff can't and won't make guarantees. This forum is an amazing place to come and let off steam or just read other people's accounts.

    Take care of yourself and the rest of your family.

  • Sorry to hear about the accident but have to agree with the others that have commented.

    I see people who have relatively minor brain injury do poorly but some that had significant head injuries do better. The medical profession seem at a loss to explain it and are therefore always guarded about giving false hope.

    Sorry it's not much help but it really is a case of time will tell.

    Wishing you and your family my sympathy and hoping for the best.

  • Bethany I'm really sorry to here of your cousins accident but as others have said on here its a waiting game. I know its difficult but the doctors and nurses are very good at dealing with this sort of situation so trust them and as k any questions to them that you have. XX N

  • Totally agree with what others have said. You will be devastated right now and with little hope but have faith because the brain is truly amazing. We are 22 months in from our car accident. Our 31 year old son came out of the coma, slowly regained consciousness and has spent since then learning how to walk, talk, eat... everything. But he's here, out with his brother at the moment and just came back from a holiday to Crete! Be brave and be strong - and come to this site whenever you need to talk. There's a fantastic amount of love and support here. x

  • Don't give up on her just yet. Almost two years ago I was in your cousins positon, I was knocked over by a horse and his my head on a granite curb. Unbeknown to me the impact fractured my skull and caused a massive bleed on my right frontal lobe. Once in hospital I was put in a medically induced coma and a probe was inserted in my brain. It was hoped the pressure would go down, but it didn't and they operated on my brain. A large section of skull was removed to get to my brain and the damaged brain tissue was removed. I was kept in the coma for two weeks and I am told my family was told the worst case senario. Once out of coma I had to learn how to sallow, talk, eat, walk and pee without the catheter. I was in hospital for three months in total. I had to walk around with a huge hole in my skull for 6 months before I had an op to replaced the missing skull with a metal plate.

    I can't say the past two years has been plain sailing but i'm doing ok, I can now walk and I did go back to work (had to lave again, but that was myy choice). My life is very different to how it was before the accident but i'm glad I made it and will keep fighting. My family and friends were told the worst but with their help and determination i've made great improvements. Every brain injury is different, as is every brain injured person so I cannot promise your cousin wiill make a full recoery; but its not the end of the line yet. Stay strong, stay positive(ven if you feel all is hopeless). I wish her a speedy recovery x

  • Thank you for all the lovely comments and best wishes it really has made me smile tonight reading this and I feel abit more positive. She has been moved from ICU on Saturday but tonight we have had some bad news and she has a terrible infection in her lungs (one was punctured in the accident) and her breathing is bad so she is being moved back to icu again :o( the thing is though there is nothing keeping her asleep and the subconscious part of her brain is damaged and that is why she is not waking up, has anyone else been told this please? Apparently the brain has to find a new way of getting though and creating another 'path' I just can't believe this has happened to our family.

  • Hi again Beth,

    I have learnt that when the brain is damaged the other areas of the brain will learn to compensate for the damaged area and new paths will be formed. This what I was told when I had my accident in May.

    I really hope you and your cousin are ok. X

  • Hi, thank you, Bethany is my cousin. Was you in the same situation then with the brain stopping you from waking up?

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