In this blog, we revisit Christian Duncan of the Sacramento area, who had sustained a traumatic brain injury from a skateboard accident. “My doctor told me I had the worst brain injury he had ever seen,” says Christian. “I was in a coma for a week, and when I came to, I was then put in a medically induced coma. I lost 40 pounds and came very close to having a heart attack, which is hard to imagine for a 17-year-old. There were a couple of times when the doctors told my parents I probably wouldn’t make it.
Yet not only did he survive, he thrived, returning to school several months after the accident and graduating with his high school class. And while with Rehab Without Walls®NeuroSolutions he did all the usual home and community rehabilitation activities – physical, occupational and speech therapy, exercise programs, community outings, cognitive training – he credits his clinical team with far more than his extraordinary physical recovery.
“They did so much more for me than I could even imagine,” he says. “They helped me have closure on the accident. They helped me acclimate and get back into life and find a certain sense of normalcy. What I appreciated most was that the Rehab Without Walls team members were just good, nice people, sincerely interested in me. They wanted me to get better not for them, but for me. To them I was a person, not a case.”
Few emerge from such a serious injury and such an intense rehabilitation process unchanged, and Christian is no exception. “Before the accident I was a typical teenager who thought I was untouchable. Today I’m humbler, with a newfound appreciation of life, my dear girlfriend Kelly, and especially my family. But I’ve also learned that there is nothing that can’t be overcome.”