• Survivor or Caregiver

TBI One Love Survivor Jenn Von Hatten

Hello, my name is Jenn.

My TBI occurred on Valentines Day 2011. I was T-boned in a car accident, due to freezing rain on the way to work for a meeting. I was in a coma, for over 7 weeks.  I had graduated as a nurse in June 2010. I survived to see my oldest children graduate from High School, which Emma graduated in June 2013 & Liam in 2014. In June 2013, the father of my youngest daughter, Hanna, decided he wasn't happy & kicked me out. For the next 2-3 weeks, I looked for a place to live in the small community we live in while Hanna stayed going to school here. During that time, her Dad mentioned 50-60 times, I was brain injured & my Frontal Lobe was injured and I honestly was not sure if I could not only live on my own as a TBI Survivor, but also have joint custody of Hanna who was only 5 at the time. A Frontal Lobe injury affects your Executive Functioning. Executive Functioning affects your ability to manage time, attention, able to remember details/plans and also effects organizing.

 When executive function breaks down, behavior becomes poorly controlled. This can affect a person's ability to function independently, never mind

caring for a child. I can take care of Hanna (now 8) and myself. When the 3rd year anniversary of my car accident was looming, I was bummed out. So, I got a tattoo Stärke, which means strength in German. I've had to have a lot of Inner Strength to get this far in my recovery and what helped motivate myself was continuing to have/take Itty Bitty GIANT step is: YES I CAN!!!

 In addition to sustaining a TBI, I also fractured a rib & vertebrae. When I was discharged from the hospital on July 14/11 I was in a wheel chair, but with my hard work I was able to graduate to a walker, then a big quad cane, followed by a mini quad cane when I'm in the house. I do not use anything unless I am really tired or sick. Being a fall risk and also disabled I cannot work as a nurse, but I am alive, was able to watch both Emma & Liam graduate and most importantly I have joint custody of Hanna.

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