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Coma: The Toll on Families

This Sunday's New York Times has an article,  Holding on to Hope which captures the toll that severe brain injury including coma and the persistent vegetative state has on parents and other loved ones.

The article describes the difficulties faced by three families of army veterans attempting to get the best care for the severe brain damage sustained by their son's who were injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict. 

The battles with the VA to obtain placement in a private brain injury rehabilitation facility with a national reputation as well as the day to day struggles that these families face are highlighted in the story.

I have spoken many times on the need to address the second patient in brain damage, that being the family.  Mothers, fathers, spouses and children are in many ways equally in need of assistance following a brain injury.  Yet, their needs are often not addressed by the medical community.  It is important to remember that these family members often need counseling and other assistance to enable them to continue with the journey following a traumatic brain injury.

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