Traumatic Brain Injury: When it Happens to Someone You Love


The road to recovery is painstakingly long for those who are affected by a traumatic brain injury–whether it is the family of the victim who is suffering, or the victim himself. So many times in the initial incident there is nothing to indicate that an injury occurred—until the victim starts to speak, walk or think. Take the case of two-year-old Tripp Halstead, who was injured while at a daycare center when a tree branch fell on his head. He had run over to the shade of the tree to cool off. Initial calls to the parents indicated he had an accident, but that it was nothing severe. Over time, however, and after the subsequent calls to the parents from the daycare center, this daycare injury proved evident that something was seriously wrong. Doctors determined that little Tripp needed immediate brain surgery where they removed part of his skull in order to access the part of this brain that was damaged from the falling tree limb. The blunt trauma severely damaged his skull.

Now, Tripp’s mom documents his recovery process. After several months of recovery in the hospital, she finds victory in every bit of movement that Tripp displays. This is not an isolated incident. A once happy carefree child, now comatose and lifeless. Because of the lack of visible evidence showing head damage, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are hard to detect and even harder to treat. Many times, TBI remains a mystery to the doctors, to determine which parts of the brain are responding to certain commands and functions. Brain injury can easily cause the brain to swell and leave the victim in a vegetative state for remaining days, or cause the person to die, if not treated effectively and quickly.

Brain injury can occur when someone takes a slight fall, or is pushed against a heavy object with the head. Other times, the incident is as severe as a large branch falling from a tree, or being involved in a car accident that traumatizes the head. Every instance is different, no matter how impactful the incident. With children, it’s important to be especially cautious, as sometimes they are unable to tell us what is wrong. If your child has been injured at a friend’s house or daycare center, or you know someone who has suffered trauma to the head, regardless of how impactful, here are some things you can look for: confusion, loss of consciousness, memory loss, bump on the head and vomiting. If you notice pupils dilating, that could be a sign that the person is slipping into a coma and that blood is bleeding inside the head. If you have been hit by something that causes trauma to your head, seek immediate attention and ask someone else to drive you to the emergency room.

Any bumps on the head are to be taken seriously, and medical attention should be sought immediately. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a blow to the head, there may be a time frame by which you have to prove the incident, or to provide backup and engage witnesses who may have been at the scene. A competent New York law firm can assist you with putting the facts together.