Life after a brain injury

Article Date: Jan 24, 2013



"I thought I was on top of the world", Jermaine Hickey said.

And by all accounts he was on the fast-track. In 2010, Jermaine was barely out of college and already a homeowner, climbing the corporate ladder as a financial planner. But something happened one night on his way home from an outing with friends.

"I'm going to cry just thinking about it", Jermaine said.

His car ended up in a ditch.

"I completely wrecked my car; it was all gone", Jermaine said.

Most of that night is still a blur for Jermaine, who was in a coma for a week. He remembers waking up at Alegent Creighton Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Center to find that he suffered a severe brain injury.

"I had to be retaught how to walk, talk, and pick up a spoon. I couldn't go to the bathroom on my own", Jermaine said.

Pretty humbling for a guy used to the fast lane. Now patience and a team of highly skilled speech, occupational, and physical therapists, would be his guide. They had a plan to get Jermaine back to his old life and it started with baby steps.

"We would work with him everyday on simple things we take for granted like getting dressed, brushing your teeth, and getting clothes out of closet", Karli Morman, Occupational Therapist said.

Karli is a brain specialist. Because Jermaine suffered a head injury, she was assigned to him to help with his unique challenges.

"Many of us have gone on to get certification so we are specialized in brain injury. Just that continuing education we get year after year really helps us help people like Jermaine get back from their accident to their normal everyday lives", Karli said.

And Jermaine is back.

"Not everyone can make a big recovery like that; he was just very determined and very motivated to get there", Karli said.

Jermaine was also in great shape before the accident. He was a star football player in college. He played for Iowa State. His therapists believe that went along way in getting him back on his feet.

"I had this desire and this hunger but it didn't come easy", Jermaine said.

After months of therapy, Jermaine got his old life back - the life he wanted not the life he was living.

"At the end of the day, my life is not all about me anymore. I have gone from number one on my priority list to maybe not even being in my top ten", Jermaine said.

The quality of care you receive after an injury or illness can determine your quality of life. At Immanuel Rehabilitation Center, they offer more than physical, occupational, and speech therapy. They restore hope - one patient at a time – to people ready to get on with their life.

If you would like more information on the services available at Immanuel Rehabilitation Center call 1-800-ALEGENT or go to Alegentcreighton.com/Rehab.


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