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Jen's Story


13 year old Jen Jennifer is now 19. She was hit and run over on May 13,1993 while riding her bicycle to an inter-school track meet. She was immediately air-vac'd to B.C. Children's Hospital, they didn't know if she would survive the trip. The dreaded question was asked----- "Please, think about organ donation, because she may not make it". This is not something that I thought I would ever have to deal with, my own body is one thing but my child?

She spent a total of 15 days in ICU totally intubated ie: ventilator, heart monitor, IV's galore etc. They did a CT scan (to find any damage) an Angiogram (to check the blood flow in her brain),EEG's,packed her in ice to reduce swelling etc. The major part of her injury was to the Brain Stem, which of course is like a bridge from the brain to the body, there was also damage to her Mid-Brain and some diffuse damage else where (from her brain bouncing inside her skull), she had a Basal Skull Fracture (which is the shelf of bone behind the sinus), she recieved damage to the 3rd and 6th nerves, which controls movement to the eyes(needs to turn her head to see), the pupils(permantently dialated) and the eyelids (although no damage to the optic nerve, she just can't open her eyes to see with). She recieved no other damage to her body, except some scraping down her right side. Once all the bruising and scrapes healed she looked like she was just sleeping. People have commented "Wow, she looks good eh?", I don't know what they expected, but looks aren't everything.
Jen was 3 1/2 months in a total coma, no responses of any sort. Her first response was to move her eyebrows, then her first word was "ISHSEE",it took us about a week to figure out she was saying "ITCHY"!

Jen spent a total of 7 months in Vancouver Hospitals, then she came home.

It is now nearly six years since Jen was hurt.
After all this time she is still unable to walk, has major motor control problems, is incontinent, has difficulty with communication, can not open her eyes consistently, and lives a daily emotional roller coaster.
Although I do need to say that not everyday is bad, some days she can be very alert, responsive, positively interactive and happy. We savour the moments when her smile lightens up the room.

Our Brownie

Our Guide 1997-1998- 1999
1997 was not a great year for Jen. So far this year has not been great for her, in April '97 she tried to walk!!!!! but fell and broke her leg,(femur/knee)and needed surgery to reset and insert a metal rod. Two weeks in hospital.
A few weeks after that injury she had a severe episode with her temperature, it dropped in a matter of an hour to a hypothermic 32deg. cel. Another two weeks in hospital. They still don't know to this day why this happened.
We found out in October '97 that she has gallstones and needs her gallbladder removed!! Surgery scheduled! February 3rd,1998, after 4 months of severe abdominal pains and 0 fat bland foods. Fun.

Jen has finished school, as of her 19th birthday she is no longer allowed to attend high school.
Jen's days are kept pretty busy. She attends physiotherapy once per week and these exercises are continued at home every day, she is taken into our hottub once per week for recreational physio, she "participates" in daily cognitive exercises (ie: word games, number games, what if games etc.) she is also kept busy doing crafts, going out for walks, window shopping etc. She is enrolled in a computer learning class sponsored by the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind). We/they are still trying to figure out a way for her to have access that will also keep her attention focused.
Attention and motivation are two major hurdles she needs to cross.
Jen now

If you have any ideas, suggestions or just want to comment, E-MAIL!!


Do come back for updates, as I get the urge and time to write it out. Take Care, be careful out there.

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A Poem by Jen


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