Coma after Severe Brain Injury

For Families in Need of Assistance After Coma

By Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.

I have not sat in the waiting room waiting for someone to awake from a coma, yet I have supported those who have been through this tragedy for a generation. I began my public support a generation ago with In 2010, I decided it was important to document the stories of those who have been through brain injury. That’s when I launched the TBI Voices project, which included the video interviews of more than 25 people who survived coma due to brain damage.

In the TBI Voices project, I listened to family members, listened to the survivors of brain injury and shared what I had learned from the lessons they were sharing with me.

The key to what I have learned is that while brain injury is difficult, never give up. I heard it from Betty in an early interview and from almost everyone else.

Assisting the Caregiver of Someone in a Coma

I believe that the information we provide can lessen the negative effect of waiting for someone to wake up from a coma after severe brain injury. These pages can provide a connection to those who have gone through what you are going through in the past. As Becca said on our

I remember passing through the emergency room door two months after my spouse’s brain injury coma started and seeing a family who reminded me of me on the day they called to tell me there had been an accident… I needed to tell them it would be OK, that it would get better. But I didn’t know what to say without intruding. And then I realized that it was happening all over the world, every day; and when it did, those hit by it would feel so alone, you will feel so alone.

We don’t think you should feel that lonely. In 1992 for Becca, there was no web. In 1996 we began to spread the shared experience of others to those who wanted it most. Every year we make determined efforts to deal with our mission. Every year, with a new fervor, we reach out to you when you need the help.

Helping with Coma After Severe Brain Injury

The lessons of our public support also come from brain damage survivors. Not even a coma always quiets the voice of the person who wakes up. In the TBI Voices project, it was the survivors who were speaking to me, to the world, informing others that because they pledged that they could come back, they were still there, that the person they were before, still exists. Coma can alter who you are, brain damage can alter who you are, but it doesn’t totally eradicate who you are, or necessarily determine who you will become. My own coma lasted twenty minutes yet caused a earth-shattering change in my life. But like the people I interviewed on TBI Voices, it did not change my essence, only altered my approach to the future.

Lethan Candlish and his drama Who am I, Again asked the elusive question and inspired me to go looking for answers in both my own life and the lives of others.



Gordon Johnson

Attorney Gordon Johnson is one of the nations leading brain injury advocates. He is Past-Chair of the TBILG, a national group of more than 150 brain injury advocates. He has spoken at numerous brain injury seminars and is the author of some of the most read brain injury web pages on the internet.

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