Katrina before her brain injury (2008 – weighing 88 lbs)
Even before the brain injury, Katrina Leigh was a tormented soul. She had a sweet and innocent heart, but an insecurity that plagued her existence. Her insecurity led her into anorexia and alcohol abuse, which left her even more desperate to find meaning in life. Katrina longed to find peace and happiness, unfortunately an unexpected tragedy occurred before she had the chance.
Katrina after her brain injury (2010 – San Diego, CA)
On June 3, 2010 our lives were changed forever. While visiting her sister in San Diego, a series of pro-longed seizures put Katrina in the hospital. After unsuccessful attempts to stop the seizing, and even having to resuscitate her, doctors were forced to induce Katrina into a coma. She spent the first 2 weeks in the intensive care unit, with no sign of improvement or hope of recovery.
Katrina at a sub-acute care facility in Coronado, CA
Katrina remained at a sub-acute care facility for the next year, where we spent the majority of our days giving her the care and attention she deserved that the facility couldn’t provide. Sub-acute facilities aren’t equipped to handle patients with unique brain injuries. With Katrina showing potential progress every day, we knew her best chance at recovery was to find a way to bring her home.
Katrina comes home to receive better care (May 27, 2011)
As Katrina’s only advocates, we were left to do all the research, planning, and paperwork to be able to bring her home. We noticed immediate improvements in Katrina’s condition once home in a safe, loving environment. Although she remains non-cognitive, she can stand and take steps with human assistance. Her doctors cannot explain how this is possible, which gives us hope to achieve more of the impossible. Katrina is constantly smiling and her spirit shines brightly, though her brain injury has left her as a 6-month-old baby.
We have experienced many trials and breakthroughs over the last few years with our daughter’s brain injury. We have accepted the harsh reality that Katrina will never return to the person she once was, and embrace who she is now. It is with this new knowledge and experience that we want to help other families become advocates for their loved ones. It is a battle that no one should fight alone.