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Can a person recover from an anoxic brain injury

By March 30, 2010 - 9:48pm
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My sister has a heart disorder called "Long QT Syndrome" which caused her to go into cardiac arrest that resulted in her having brain damage,.

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Hi Skenneyw-

There are a lot of factors involved in brain injury. Your question is pretty general-for instance, I'm wondering how long she was anoxic, how serious was the brain injury, what is her condition now, how old is she, etc. Generally speaking, the brain is a pretty wonderous thing and after an injury there is usually some recovery, although again, it depends on how severe the injury is. It can take a long time to see results, and sometimes the recovery is hard to predict.

I have seen patients with terrible brain injuries recover function that no one expected, but it took a lot of time and physical and occupational therapy. In order to talk about your sister's situation, I would need to hear more about it. Are you comfortable sharing more details?

I'm sorry you and your sister are going through this. Brain injury is really difficult to deal with emotionally. Please let me know if you can share more information so we can talk about it further.

April 1, 2010 - 7:00am
(reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

Thank you for taking time out for me. My sister is 42 years old and on March 30, around 10pm she regained consciousness but only for a short period of time. myself and my mom were at her bedside and she started making grunting noises (she has a trachea in her throat) my mom just continued to talk to her and tell her how much we love her and she broke out crying and she was trying so hard to talk and I screamed, I was so happy. Then I started telling her that we missed her so much and that we are praying so hard for her and that she was going to be okay and she started crying again. Then as I was telling her what happened to her and where she was at I played a gospel song for her telling her to call on the Lord and she started crying again, this was the happiest moment in my life. Her condition today is she's coughing, sneezing, yarning, responding to pain but she is posturing at times and she is back in that sleep-wake stage and she is on a ventilator using about 10% of support.

April 13, 2010 - 8:31pm
(reply to skenneyw)

I can really relate to all the ups and downs of this. My 83 year old father was admitted to the hospital on 8-7-2010 with a 103 temperature-started on anti-biotics. The next morning, went into septic shock because of an infection in his leg (which ended up busting-filled with infection and pus, kidneys shut down and into cardiac arrest for 10 minutes. The doctors didn't hold out much hope. He was on a ventilator followed up by a trach, dialysis, feeding tube. He was transferred to a Long Term Acute Care Hospital for about 3 weeks.
He is now off of kidney dialysis. He was transferred to a rehab facility to wean him off of the trach. We have been plagued with urinary tract infections, low red blood cell count and trying to get that leg healed up. He was more responsive in the LTAC hospital - opening his eyes, moving his legs and arms around, responding to music and my voice (I did a lot of singing and reading) but not as responsive since being moved into this facility. He squints his eyes and puckers his mouth and will occasionally squeeze my hand. He stares at the ceiling alot and I literally have to crawl up on the bed and make him look at me. He has been yawning alot and he does respond to stimuli. He was also on the ventilator using very little support but they had turn it back up until his red blood cell counts go back up. There is very little family and I am the only one that can visit him. I am just so scared all the time! I have been nursing a sick mother for 2 years also and I got the double whammie. Don't know if I am coming or going. One thing I have done is to keep a journal each time I visit. If I get "some type" of response I make sure the nurses make a note of it. Keep track of your loved ones other medical conditions as well - if you don't - no one else will. I am praying he will recover to a somewhat good quality of life. This is my pappy and I don't care if he is 83 years old. He still has a lot of living to do and a lot of people who love him. Just keep talking, reading, playing music, do physical therapy (working her/his fingers) to they don't become stiff. I rub his hands and arms with lotion and tell him...daddy we are going to do exercises and there I go. One.two.three.four on each finger and move his wrists and elbows around also. I rub his sholders and tickle the bottom of his feet. Keep them stimulated! Tell them DON'T GIVE UP! I know it is hard on the family (sometimes I feel like I am going to crack) but imagine how hard it is on them. They can't tell you what is going on in their mind. I never thought I would be faced with a situation like this but I just take it a day at a time. I use to see "what if this and what if that happens tomorrow, next week, next month. I just try to calm down my mind and focus on "today". Alot of bad days but every once in a while some good. I know it is going to take time so just hang in there. God Blessings

November 4, 2010 - 10:06am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to pcmcgrady15417)

Thank you very much for sharing the story of your father and his recovery. It takes tremendous courage and patience to cope with the situation you were in at that time. My father is 84 years old and has been diagnosed with anoxic brain injury from a respiratory arrest. The doctors told me that his chance of waking up was minuscule... How is your dad now. I know it has been nearly 5 years since you posed. Please let us know how he has been doing since then.

October 7, 2015 - 10:00am
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