Traumatic Brain Injury
Nolan Broughton loves the outdoors, including hunting and fishing. He also has land in East Texas where he enjoys the wide open spaces and a rest from the pace of city life. When the COVID pandemic hit, Noah decided to hunker down in the country thinking it would be safer.
One day, he was working on a ladder outside when suddenly he slipped and fell, hitting his head on the steel frame of a trailer. The force of the blow caused him to bleed and he was struggling to remain coherent. Nolan tried to shrug it off. He cleaned himself up and went back to work, even mowing the grass. As the evening progressed, Noah felt ‘off.’ Thinking maybe that fall was more serious than he thought, Nolan went to the emergency room (ER) where he had a CT scan done. It came back normal.
For several months, Nolan went about his life with no other symptoms. Then, out of the blue, he had that some feeling of being ‘off.’ His neighbor came to take him to the ER, and from there he was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Tyler, Texas, where he was diagnosed with a brain bleed. Within a week, Nolan had three surgeries to try and stop the bleeding. He was in the trauma unit for 12 days.
Upon being stabilized, Nolan faced many cognitive challenges due to his brain injury. His ability to process high-level tasks such as driving and problem solving were drastically impaired. His speech was also slower than normal. All he wanted was to restore his cognitive function and get back to work. That’s when his wife started researching rehabilitation facilities. She found the Day Neuro Program at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Frisco (BSWIR – Frisco).
Nolan loved anything physical and luckily his ability to walk wasn’t impacted by his brain injury, but he did have some balance issues. He thoroughly enjoyed doing his physical therapy and improving his balance and stamina so he could get back to exercising. Speech therapy was where most of his rehabilitation was focused. His therapist worked on improving Nolan’s memory recall and problem solving. At first, he didn’t realize how much the injury had affected his cognition and didn’t think he needed rehabilitation. Then, when he realized that he was unable to drive due to the complexity of the task, he knew he needed to focus on this therapy. Nolan shared, “Take advantage of the rehab and make the most out of the experience. It’s the best way to return to how you were before the injury.”
Before his accident, Nolan did most of the driving. Since then, his wife now takes the wheel. Upon graduating from the Day Neuro Program, Nolan has not only drastically improved his high-level functioning and speech, but he is working toward getting certified to get his keys back and to enjoy the freedom, places and activities that he cherishes.