What do the holidays look like for a person recuperating from a traumatic brain injury? This year, many of our brain-injured patients will be going to a local mall to use a portion of their income to buy toys for disadvantaged kids.
Some of our patients struggle with severe injuries that have altered their control of speech, memory, and movement. To see them fully engaged in the holiday spirit, to see them give with abandon, and to see them delight in their humanity is more than just humbling–it’s inspiring.
Even in the midst of a terrible impairment, TBI survivors move past the pitfall of viewing themselves as a victim, and instead view themselves as wholly capable persons who can make contributions that matter. Neglecting the inherent human dignity of the TBI survivor–whether they are minimally conscious or fully responsive–is to neglect our own humanity.