Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Recovery using Physical and Speech Therapy


Life at Helen Hayes was beautiful. From
my bedroom window, from my hospital room I could see a beautiful view of the
river, the Hudson River, right outside the window. I did lots of therapies there as
you can imagine. I believe it was speech, occupational, and physical therapy. I
particularly loved physical therapy. My my therapist was Tammy Goedken, and
Tammy was and is a rock star angel in my life. She was the woman that taught me to
walk again. The most special memory I have is was upstairs sort of looking and
Helen Hayes over the main atrium, and I took my first steps into my daddys arms.
Tammy would not let me leave Helen Hayes until I was able to
walk. I left with the walker, but it was because of Tammy’s dedication and
commitment to therapy that I was able to walk out of Helen Hayes. Hello I’m Tammy
I’m a physical therapist at Helen Hayes Hospital. I worked with Angela when she
was first admitted. The thing that stands out most about Angela was how fearless
she was. She had very, very aggressive goals to be very independent, high level
goals that were very long reaching, but she would try anything to get there. She
had absolute faith in the therapists. In the beginning when she was taking her
first steps and she really couldn’t stand without falling down. She had
people around helping to catch her and she would try anything and just rely the
utmost on the therapists and the staff around that we were not going to let her
fall or let anything bad happen to her. She had, for the bulk of her stay, she had
a big halo on with the screws going into her head, which created an additional
balance problem when you’re trying to walk, when you’re trying to stand and do
anything, but she didn’t let that stop her. She would just say “What am I doing
today?” and you could give her the most advanced skill, the most difficult skill,
and she would try her hardest. It wasn’t always pretty, but she always put a
hundred percent effort into it, and relied completely, faithfully on us to
make sure that she was safe through everything, which is one of the reason
why she made such rapid progress despite how severely injured she was. The other
therapist I remember and love is Tara, a speech therapist. Tara was the one that
gave me the tough love. She was the one that found me napping in my room after a
therapy session and she said “Would you nap on your job?” What I loved about Tara
was she encouraged and inspired each of her patients to maximize their healing
potential so, thank you Tara! My name is Tara. I’m a speech and language
pathologist here at Helen Hayes Hospital. I knew from the get-go Angela didn’t say
much but and that she didn’t say much because of the difficulty communicating
that she was having, but I think what was so fantastic about her was that she had
something behind her eyes, she really did. I knew from her history and with the
type of career that she did that she was a go-getter. She was clearly extremely
intelligent and I knew she was very capable and determined. When Angela came
to me, again she had difficulty communicating, so there were very little
words spoken at first, but I did see in her eyes this little sparkle, this little
light, it kind of led me to see her soul a little bit and I think that I knew
right away that she had a lot of potential. I think as therapists we have
a responsibility to get to know our patients, but we should all have the
desire to, to really care for them, and you know with Angela not only did I have
to get to know her, but I wanted to get to know her. I wanted to help her get
back to the life that she had, not just a life, but the life that she had, and a
life that was meaningful for her. I believe that everyone who
leaves any medical institution hospital, the, the real work begins with the
support of family and loved ones. For a traumatic brain injury, this did not
impact just me, it impacted my whole family and the troops rallied together
to help me rebuild my life and truly the most remarkable recoveries you see all
the time are because of the family members who have come together to help
support that patient.

1 thought on “Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Recovery using Physical and Speech Therapy

  1. Amazing!! I don’t understand HOW nobody comments! A tbi happens every 15 seconds! That’s a lot!! Cmon people! It’s 2019!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *