Traumatic Brain Injury
Ragina Watkins considers herself lucky to be alive. Involved in motor vehicle accident, Ragina was ejected from her vehicle, sustaining fractures to her collarbone and wrist and a traumatic brain injury. She was rushed to the local hospital and treated for her injuries. Although stabilized, Ragina had to deal with a range of physical, functional and cognitive deficits. She chose to participate in the specialized Day Neuro Program at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation - Fort Worth (BSWIR – Fort Worth).
Ragina, an insurance adjustor, wanted to regain her strength and skills so that she could to return to work and resume doing the things she loved, like swimming, taking long walks, caring for her dog and, most of all, playing with her grandchildren. Through a range of physical, occupational and speech therapy services, she steadily improved. Specific gait-training exercises, performed under the watchful eyes of her physical therapists, helped her build the strength and balance to walk. Similarly, in occupational therapy, Ragina reinforced her ability to perform daily activities. In speech therapy, she began to improve her communication skills and overcome cognitive issues related to word finding and memory. She soon was able to better process information and understand directions for increasingly more complex tasks.
“I was okay texting, reading quick messages and maybe having a short conversation, but I really didn’t like having to talk with anyone as I wasn’t confident. I was very self-conscious and didn’t believe in myself as much as my therapists did,” said Regina.
To continue her recovery, Ragina transitioned to Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Outpatient Therapy at the Bryant Irvin location in Fort Worth. She participated in intensive speech therapy sessions that helped improve her language and communication skills, allowing her to more easily engage in conversation and regain her confidence. In addition, with the encouragement of her therapy team, Ragina passed her return-to-driving exam that enable her to return to work and begin to go about her usual activities.
Ragina credits her care team for her progress. “I’ve come so far over the past 10 months. My words and thoughts are coming back more easily than before. I’m still working on improving my talking with all the skills y’all have taught me!”
Ragina also had the support of her family and friends who learned how to help her compensate, especially when she’s having difficulty remembering something. “My friends will jump in and help me out. I have notes that help me at work and I often email people rather than talking to them if I can. But I know I’m doing much better than I probably give myself credit for ... and I am believing in myself more and more.”