Traumatic brain injury changes lives

Hanover, Pa - When you have a toddler you're always picking up something.

Brittany Pollock says her 16 month old likes to make a mess and keeps her busy.

But it's a mess that she's happy to put away.

Because a few years ago no one expected her to survive the night let alone become a mom.

"I took my seatbelt off and laid down in the back seat and when the accident happened I flew forward and my head hit the console causing the console to crack or my head to crack one of the two." Brittany says.

 Coming home from a night out with friends the car Brittany was riding in hit an embankment at about 50 miles an hour on Greenspring Valley Road on July 28, 2007.

Her head was split from just above her eye to behind her ear and she suffered severe injuries to her internal organs.

She was in a coma for about three weeks and everyone expected that she would never be the same again.

Such a traumatic brain injury meant that the road ahead was very very long.

"My mom said she would hand me a rag while I was in the shower and she said can you wash yourself and I held it up like what is this I don't know what to do I didn't know what to do I didn't know what to do with a wash rag I had to learn everything the things you teach an infant when they're born that they don't intrinsically know it's pretty much what I had to learn I had to learn to walk to talk my depth perception I had to learn that." She says.

But with the help of her nurses and therapists at Kernan Hospital, and of course her family and friends Brittany slowly came back to Brittany.

Five years later she's still recovering from her brain injury.

She says she gets terrible migraines and she says her words don't come out right sometimes and back pain from the crash keeps her from working.

But she says she's still here when many thought she wouldn't be.

She has a loving husband and son and there are no scars on her soul just the one that she covers with a swoop of her hair that reminds her every day about how the preciousness of life.

"I'm every growing I'm ever changing especially emotionally and mentally it's like I'm learning things every day about life about everything." She says.

Brittany says people need to know that the type of injury that happened to her could happen to anyone at anytime.

In fact every year about a million and a half people..... Many of them under the age of 30 suffer from traumatic brain injuries.

The road to recovery is slow if it happens at all.

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