On August 10, 2014 my son Daylin was a healthy active 13 year old. He was an all star pitcher for his baseball team, champion wrestler for the school, football player, and honor roll student. On August 11, 2014 that all changed. Daylin was rushed from emergency room, to doctors office, to another emergency room, and then transported by ambulance to a much bigger hospital where he was admitted in the PICU. That, is where Daylin spent the next 26 days.
Daylin was Diagnosed with Encephalitis. A rare brain infection that caused tremendous swelling of the brain. The prognosis was not promising. Dayin began having seizures, and lost consciousness, and then his brain began to rupture. Not just once, but twice. The doctors couldn't tell me if he would live or die. I prayed so hard for my little boy!!
Daylin's will to fight, and live never weakened. He pulled through! He lived!! But not without consequences. Daylin has brain damage. Acquired Brain Injury is what the doctors call it. It's exactly like a Traumatic Brain Injury, only it wasn't cause by a blow to the head or trauma. He acquired his injury from an infection.
I wish I could say ABI, or TBI were just words to us, but they are so much more. They are the takers of many things. The taker of my son’s ability to read, and write. The taker of his words. The taker of his melloncollie attitude. The taker of his filter. The taker of his memory. The taker of his concentration. The taker of his social skills. The taker of his compassion. The taker of his self worth. The taker of his friends. The taker of family.
For anyone who has had a child go through a brain injury, you know it takes from more than just that child. Unfortunately, it took from the siblings, and it took from me.
I was taught to never give up! Fight for what I believe in and what is right. Well, this was not right, and I wasn't about to believe things wouldn't be better. I quit my job, lost everything we had as I put every minute and every cent I had into getting my son better.
We are now 15 months post the brain injury. Times have been, and still are hard. We even packed up, moved away from everything and everyone we knew to start over fresh. Was that the right decision? I don't know. Was I just desperate to not have my son compared to what he used to be? Yes! Am I glad that I made the choices I did? Yes.
Today Daylin is once again an honor roll student. It is very challenging for him, and he has to use devices to help him read and write, but just like me, he won't give up! He has made lots of new friends and his neurologist even released him to wrestle again.
Do I expect to have the same exact son as I had before? No. I do expect to have a happy one though.