SPEAK OUT! Faces of Brain Injury – Barrett Sturgill
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
Brain Injury is NOT Discriminating!
(submitted by Barrett’s mother and caregiver, Amanda Sturgill)
We were in a motor vehicle accident on April 13, 2012. It caused Barrett to have an aneurysm and a brain hemorrhage from contrecoup (a contusion resulting from the brain contacting the skull on the side opposite from where impact occurs). He was only five years old at the time.
He immediately had a frontotemporoparietal craniotomy (the frontal, temporal, and parietal bones were removed from the skull). He suffered epidural and subdural hematomas. (Both allowed the buildup of blood to impinge on the brain.) Barrett was then flown to a children’s hospital. He was in critical condition and was in the intensive care unit until May 1.
On April 26, he was given a G-tube (gastric feeding tube, which allows nutrients to be introduced directly into the stomach) and trach (a small tube inserted in the trachea to keep the airway open). Barrett remained in a coma until May 1. Then he only opened his eyes. We went to Cardinal Hill Rehab on May 4 and stayed there until June 30. On June 14, the trach was removed. He remained nonverbal until June 22. At that time, he also began to eat small amounts. On August 6, the feeding tube was removed.
In October, he started walking with assistance. Now three years later, Barrett walks, runs, talks, and eats. He has muscle weakness in his right side – he uses his leg better than his arm. Barrett is in a regular first grade with his sister, and he only goes to Special Ed for two hours – for spelling and math. He loves video games.
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