SPEAK OUT! – Francie Boothe
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email? (optional)
North Attleboro, MA, USA firstname.lastname@example.org
3. What caused your survivor’s TBI?
My 16-year-old son fell off the back of his cousin’s truck.
4. On what date did you begin care for your TBI survivor? Are you the main caregiver? How old were you when you began care?
Nov. 27, 2013
My husband and I are the main caregivers. I was 41.
5. Were you caring for anyone else at that time? (e.g., children, parents, etc.)
My 14-year-old daughter
6. Were you employed at the time of your survivor’s TBI? If so, were you able to continue working?
Yes, I was employed. No, I could not continue.
7. Did you have any help? If so, what kind and for how long?
I had help from my family.
8. When did your support of the survivor begin? (e.g., immediately – in hospital, when survivor returned home, etc.)
9. Was your survivor in a coma? If so, what did you do at that time?
Yes. I sat in the pediatric ICU praying with family and friends.
10. Did your survivor have rehab? If so, what kind of rehab? (i.e., In-patient and/or Out-patient and Occupational, Physical, Speech, and/or Other) How long was the rehab? Where were you when this was happening?
All rehab was In-patient therapy at the Spaulding Rehab in Charlestown, MA. He had occupational, physical, and recreational therapies and speech-language pathology.
11. What problems or disabilities of your TBI survivor required your care, if any?
Washing, dressing, eating, etc.
12. How has your life changed since you became a caregiver? Is it better? Is it worse?
It’s worse, but there are good days also.
13. What do you miss the most from pre-TBI life?
Normalcy. I miss my son’s being whole and healthy.
14. What do you enjoy most in post-TBI life?
I enjoy my son’s new outlook. His personality has changed – he’s much more personable.
15. What do you like least about TBI?
My son’s suffering and the family’s suffering
16. Has anything helped you to accept your survivor’s TBI?
Faith in God, prayer, family, and friends
17. Has your survivor’s injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
No, not really, but it does get crazy sometimes.
18. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
Yes, I don’t have much of a social life, but I don’t care.
19. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
I want my son to lead a normal life without infection or complications.
20. What advice would you offer other TBI survivor caregivers? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Have faith. Be strong. Be patient. Take one day at a time. There will be good days and bad days.
Thank you, Francie, for taking part in this interview. I hope that your experience will offer some hope, comfort, and inspiration to my readers.
If you would like to be a part of this project, please go to TBI Caregiver Interview Questionnaire for a copy of the questions and the release form.
(Photo compliments of Francie.)
Disclaimer: The views or opinions in this post are solely that of the interviewee.