Professional Comments

A Story of Survival and Recovery

This is a story of remarkable courage in the face of a catastrophic brain injury. Susie was shot, almost execution-style, with a bullet leaving a blast deformity in the left occipital bone. During her initial operative procedure, she had extensive bleeding and was not expected to survive. In fact, as noted by her surgeons, “her chances of survival are felt to be nil.” While she remembers the initial gunshot to her left shoulder, she had significant loss of memory after the second gunshot. In fact, her first memory was awakening in the intensive care two weeks after injury. However, for Susie, this was just the beginning of the long road to recovery. She remained in acute care for two weeks, followed by three months of outpatient neuro-rehabilitation and an additional three months in a post-acute brain injury program. Her story is one of many, we have heard, of “no hope” of survival to independence. It is unlikely on April 5. 1993, that anyone would have predicted she would be alive or even able to write her story of survival and recovery.

David W. Morledge, M.D.
Walt   N. Mercer, Ph.D.
Texas NeuroRehab Center

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