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Traumatic brain injuries keep crash victim comatose for 30 years

Some car accidents in Ontario and elsewhere can have devastating consequences. This is underscored by the fate of a former constable who suffered traumatic brain injuries in 1987 and lived in a vegetative state for more than 30 years. His wife visited him faithfully every day where he was bedridden in a small hospital room for all those years.

Reportedly, he was involved in an on-duty car accident while working night shift and responding to a call on Sept. 22, 1987. He lost consciousness on impact and received emergency neurosurgery that same night. However, he never recovered and remained comatose and partially paralyzed until his death in April this year.

The man's wife and a friend both noticed small signs of reactions to their voices like widening eyes. Health care staff say he responded to sound and light, and he moaned when he was in pain. A neurologist says a vegetative state is a cycle of being asleep and awake, but that there are still more questions than answers when it comes to traumatic brain injuries.

Having to cope with the emotional trauma and the financial burden of a loved one needing around-the-clock medical care for more than 30 years is almost unthinkable. Fortunately, some level of recovery is possible through the Ontario civil justice system. If a loved one suffers traumatic brain injuries due to the negligence of another party, an experienced personal injury lawyer can assist with the legal proceedings of filing a lawsuit. If successful, a monetary judgment might cover past and future medical expenses, along with emotional damages such as pain and suffering.

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