Coma: My brother in law and my sister were assaulted... - Headway


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My brother in law and my sister were assaulted on the 18th June. The attack resulted in my brother in law suffering from a TBI and is now in a coma (not an induced coma) he has a GCS score of 4 and we've been told it's likely he may never wake up. I understand the TBI has caused him to have mutilple mini strokes and from what we have been told by the Neuro team a large part of his brain is dead. He's has a tracheotomy fitted and is breathing on his own intermittently. He seems to react to certain things the nurses do, for instance when they clear his airways or open his eyes to test for pupil response. As you can understand we're all feeling very lost and upset by the unknown and there are questions that the professionals can't answer. I have done so much reading and would just like to hear of any stories where a similar outcome has defied the odds and things progressed. I understand it's a lengthy process with TBI and we're not giving up. My sister and her husband have four beautiful babies aged 9, 7, 4 and 2. He has everything to fight for. I just wish I could give my sister a boost of hope.

Thank you xxx

9 Replies

victoria91 firstly im very sorry, no im afraid you cant give your sister a boost because if your brother in law survives,not be the same person.

i would like to leave it there please, but feel free to come back and ask questions because we know.

welcome to the group

steve x

razyheath43 in reply to steve55

hugs please give the headway helpline a ring on monday,number at top of page,they will be able to put you in touch with support local to you they really are very helpfull and understanding.i would have gone quite quite mad without them when my hubby was ill

Hi Victoria, it would be remiss of us to give you false hope. Only time will tell I'm afraid.

It was thought I would be in a permanent vegetative state after 3 weeks in a coma with encephalitis. I have lesions on my brain, where the brain tissue is dead but these are not extensive, I did not suffer bleeding on my brain.

I have recovered well against all odds but every brain injury is unique and likewise so is every recovery.

Patience is required, and any visitors must speak to him and include him in conversation. Read to him, play his favourite music. I heard snippets from time to time of what was occurring around me, I remember my children reading to me, even though my family were constantly told not to be too hopeful, DNR for my notes was also mentioned, thankfully not needed.

Be prepared for a long journey should he eventually wake and as Steve says he may not be the person he was it will depend on just where the damage has occurred.

Meanwhile my thoughts are with you, be strong as a family and take care xxx

Janet x

Welcome Victoria, how sad that this has happened to your family. Please keep remembering that every tbi is different but there will however be plenty of people on here who can relate to your story and who will give very good advice but it would help you lots if you gave Headway a call, they will be able to give you lots of advice and also support whether it be emotionally or maybe even tell you about how your family might need/get help financially.

The fact that you have come on to this forum shows that you are already helping your sister, so keep posting and venting here.

Best wishes to you all.



Look at other posts on here such as:

I don't know if that helps, I cant remember what my score was but they said I had to chance of recovering ....

I hope that you Brother in law gets better soon. It must be very difficult for you.

Hi Victoria.

My step son was in a car accident on the 22/6/17. He is now in a prolonged state of unconsciousness and in neuro rehab being assessed. We have a case conference soon and we will find out the final diagnosis. All I can say is that it is a painful journey that we try to take day by day.

I found myself reading and researching for hours upon hours and realised I was just looking for something that would tell me the outcome is different to what we were seeing and hearing. Desperate for answers. Accepting it seems to feel like giving up at the moment, being realistic whilst not giving up hope is the most difficult balance.

We have jumped for joy at small changes/signs only to be told they are probably not voluntary movements.

Day by day, one day at a time.

Our thoughts are with you and your family. x

Thank you for your reply. I know that feeling all too well and I've even lost count at the times I've read something over and over praying I would understand and that my brothers outcome would be similar to some that I've read! Thoughts and prayers are with your family at this hard time.

The doctors have come back recently with some devastating news that a recovery is very unlikely and he is deteriorating at a fast pace, he's had some shrinkage on the brain (wasn't sure what this meant but was explained that the number of cells he has in his brain is reducing and therefore would be harder for neuro plasticity to take place) he's had a lot of seizures and a high level of infections since being admitted, his body is becoming immune to antibiotics. My sister has had lots of meetings in the past week and there has been a decision that he will slowly come off meds, tracheostomy and they've already stopped taking his obs - I believe he will be placed on morphine but it seems now is the beginning of the end :( xxxx

Hi there,

i am so so sorry to hear this Victoria.

My step son has had countless UTI and chest infections - there is not any evidence that he is suffering seizures. He has had sepsis and now a hospital super bug that I had never heard of - CO - one hospital said it is not treatable now another has said he hasn't got it anymore!!!

He had his trachy removed and can breathe for himself - this sounds awful but I am not sure if this is a good thing or not - of course if he makes a reasonable recovery it is amazing however if he doesn't and this is as good as it gets - is it a good thing.

I feel so helpless when he cries - a face that looks like he is pain and tears falling down his face it breaks me. Sometimes I feel like he is desperate to tell us something and other days nothing - just vacant staring.

I am not giving up but am terrified of what we will be told at the case conference.

Love and hugs to you and your family. x

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