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Brain injury victim finds her voice again through her iPad

Posted on April 20, 2012 in Brain Injury

Apple’s iPad has helped a woman with a traumatic brain injury communicate again. The device vocalizes the woman’s words for her, allowing her to communicate again with the world. Severe brain injuries like this, often caused by accidents, require extensive long-term care and have life-long effects.

The woman was hit by a truck, causing such severe head injuries that part of her brain had to be removed in surgery to keep her alive. She lost the ability to walk or talk. Through time, therapy and the iPad, she is able to walk and communicate.

Not all brain injuries are this severe and can be difficult to diagnose, even after an accident. Mood swings and personality changes can be symptoms of brain injury. They can impact a victim’s ability to work and have personal relationships. A brain injury often necessitates costly long-term care or assistive devices.

The woman said — via her iPad — that she was excited and relieved to be able to talk again. Brain injuries can have a tremendous psychological impact too. The woman’s doctor said that not being able to be understood is about the most difficult thing he can imagine.

Devices like the iPad are vital to patients with brain injuries. but they can be expensive. Fortunately, brain injury victims can be compensated to help finance their immediate and more long-term needs. Victims may be entitled to compensation for even less severe injuries.

For now the woman can only say one word on her own: “Yeah.” Through her iPad she says she will keep working toward independence.

Source: Argus Leader, “iPad helps brain-injured woman express herself,” Jill Callison, April 7, 2012

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