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He’s not in a coma, but he is paralyzed and can’t speak; He is not paralyzed, but he can’t function the way he used to.

The list goes on and on. You imagine how this situation will affect your family. Frank will no longer be able to support you financially or emotionally. In fact, you may have to support him. In addition to the emotions you felt yesterday, you now feel overwhelmed, stressed and devastated.

What you need to know is that these emotions are completely normal. You may even experience some that are not listed here.

Questions swirl about you: Where can I go for help?

Who should I contact? What steps do I follow to take care of Frank and myself? The following chapters will try to answer these questions.

CHAPTER TWO: FIRST STEPS

As you struggle to understand your loved one’s injury, three steps are especially important:

  • 1.

    Designate a family spokesperson

  • 2.

    Identify medical team members and their roles

  • 3.

    Gather information

DESIGNATE A FAMILY SPOKESPERSON

Being the spouse or closest kin of a brain-injury survivor does not necessarily mean you will be the best spokesperson for the family. The role of spokesperson is important because he or she is responsible for relaying information between the medical team and the family. He should be the main contact whenever information needs to be transferred. The information needs to be explained promptly and accurately. This may involve making several phone calls a day. Emotions, work

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