Survivors SPEAK OUT! Robb Anthony Filippes
Donna O’Donnell Figurski
1. What is your name? (last name optional)
Robb Anthony Filippes
2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)
Evansville, Indiana, USA
3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?
May 22, 2016
4. How did your brain injury occur?
I had a full cardiac arrest.
5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?
I realized I had a problem when I woke up, and I had to go to HealthSouth Deaconess Rehabilitation Hospital.
6. What kind of emergency treatment, if any, did you have?
Well, I was on life-support …
7. Were you in a coma? If so, how long?
Yes. One week
8. Did you do rehab? What kind of rehab (i.e., inpatient or outpatient and occupational and/or physical and/or speech and/or other)?
Yes. I was an inpatient at HealthSouth.
How long were you in rehab?
9. What problems or disabilities, if any, resulted from your brain injury (e.g., balance, perception, personality, etc.)?
I lost my short-term memory. Balance is a problem. Sometimes I need to use a cane or a walker. My personality changed; I became nicer.
10. How has your life changed? Is it better? Is it worse?
My life is better.
11. What do you miss the most from your pre-brain-injury life?
Nothing. I was a drug addict for 35 years. (I’m 51 years old.)
12. What do you enjoy most in your post-brain-injury life?
I greatly appreciate that I’m still functioning. I’m very lucky.
13. What do you like least about your brain injury?
I dislike my short-term memory loss.
14. Has anything helped you to accept your brain injury?
I still have a hard time accepting my brain injury. I go to a “shrink” now.
15. Has your injury affected your home life and relationships and, if so, how?
My brain injury actually made my home life better. I was about to lose my marriage over it. (I lost my first marriage from it.)
16. Has your social life been altered or changed and, if so, how?
Yes. I don’t see anyone.
17. Who is your main caregiver?
Do you understand what it takes to be a caregiver?
Not really. She does everything for me and our family.
18. What are your plans?
I hope to help others with addiction.
What do you expect/hope to be doing ten years from now?
I hope to still be alive and to have helped people, even if it’s one person.
19. Are you able to provide a helpful hint that may have taken you a long time to learn, but which you wished you had known earlier? If so, please state what it is to potentially help other survivors with your specific kind of brain injury.
Get counseling right away
20. What advice would you offer to other brain-injury survivors?
Don’t give up!
Do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
All brain-injured people are in my prayers.
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