Currently, he is making great progress. He has been out of the hospital for a few days now, and we are starting aggressive rehab for physical therapy and speech therapy. The largest issue in recovery is the aphasia. Since the left side of the brain is responsible for language, he has great difficulty finding words when he speaks, and about half of the words he says is gibberish. He remembers me but not my name, and he cannot properly verbalize it even when I try to walk him through it slowly. He is very frustrated and confused, and it is heartbreaking for me and my mom to see him like this.
My dad and his family came to America in the ‘80s as a refugee from Laos, leaving behind everything they owned for the chance of a better life. My parents married in the ‘90s and gave birth to me, raising me into the woman I am today. One of my dad’s greatest passions in life is tennis, having played regularly since he was 12. He was my coach growing up as I played USTA tournaments and varsity tennis in high school, and it is a big part of my relationship with him as his daughter. Needless to say, he will not be able to play tennis without months of physical therapy since walking and eating is already so exhausting for him now.
I am currently a junior studying psychology at Brown University. I receive tremendous financial aid which allows all of my tuition to be paid; currently, the only expense my parents pay is for my housing (I pay bills and buy my own groceries with money I earn with a part-time job). As a first-generation college student, I am very blessed to attend an Ivy League institution and make my parents proud. I took a few weeks off from school after the accident to come home to Memphis and see him in the hospital, and my mom and I took shifts around the clock by my dad’s bedside during those first few stressful weeks.
We are in need of money to pay for medical expenses and bills. While insurance is covering a large portion of the medical bill, we still need to pay the deductible out of pocket in addition to travel expenses, other bills, food, etc. Obviously my dad cannot work, and my mom was unable to work for the weeks that he was in the hospital, running out of paid leave and switching to family medical leave of absence. Now that he has been home for a few days, she has been able to work from home but only for a few hours a day, when she isn’t running around the house helping out my dad. She is still very stressed and I would like to do as much as possible in terms of easing her stress and helping out my dad. The recovery process for a TBI is a long road, and we need all the help we can get.
We are incredibly grateful for any support. Love you all!
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- Laura Henny
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