Caregivers SPEAK OUT!
Pattie Welek Hall (caregiver for her son)
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
Pattie Welek Hall
2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email? (optional)
Summerville, South Carolina, USA email@example.com
3. What is the brain-injury survivor’s relationship to you?
He’s my son.
How old was the survivor when he/she had the brain injury?
19 years old
What caused your survivor’s brain injury?
4. On what date did you begin care for your brain-injury survivor?
October 6, 2002
Were you the main caregiver?
Are you now?
We live in different states now, but I’d have to say that emotionally I am his main caregiver.
How old were you when you began care?
5. Were you caring for anyone else at that time (e.g., children, parents, etc.)?
I was in the process of finalizing a divorce and also raising my other two children, Annie (freshman in college) and Bo (junior in college).
6. Were you employed at the time of your survivor’s brain injury?
Yes – at Barnes & Noble in Charlotte, North Carolina
If so, were you able to continue working?
No. Mid-October, I was scheduled to step into new position – Community Relations Manager at Barnes & Noble in Huntersville, North Carolina. The manager held my position until I was able to return.
7. Did you have any help?
If so, what kind and for how long?
When Casey returned home, he went to outpatient care in Charlotte, North Carolina. At that time, his dad’s insurance paid for a driver to take and pick him up from rehab so I could return to work. Casey remained in rehab until April 2003.
8. When did your support of the survivor begin (e.g., immediately – in the hospital; when the survivor returned home; etc.)?
For the first eleven days after my son’s accident, I slept on the floor in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at the Medical University of South Carolina, and then I moved to Marriott Courtyard for the remaining days of his six-week stay.
9Was your survivor in a coma?
If so, what did you do during that time?
I prayed out loud to him; I talked to him; I relayed how his day unfolded (Guess who visited; I recounted what they said) . . . and I told him stories.
10. Did your survivor have rehab?
If so, what kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient and/or outpatient and occupational, physical, speech, and/or other)?
Outpatient—speech, occupational, and physical
How long was the rehab?
Where were you when your survivor was getting therapy?
11. What problems or disabilities of your brain-injury survivor required your care, if any?
12. How has your life changed since you became a caregiver? Is it better? Is it worse?
13. What do you miss the most from pre-brain-injury life?
I miss my boy’s easy-going nature.
14. What do you enjoy most in post-brain-injury life?
That my son is alive
15. What do you like least about brain injury?
That my son has frontal lobe damage which affects those he loves
16. Has anything helped you to accept your survivor’s brain injury?
17. Has your survivor’s injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
Relationships are up and down – mostly due to frontal lobe damage.
18. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
19. What are your plans? What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
I hope that my son’s life is filled with love, laughter, and peace.
20. What advice would you offer other caregivers of brain-injury survivors? Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
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