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Thread: How do we tell him?

  1. #1

    How do we tell him?

    My nephew is 16 and was injured 2 weeks ago today. He has fractured C-3 and 4, T-5 thru 9 (7-9 are shattered), and L2 thru 4. He is to be woken up on Thursday. The doctors are telling us to just blurt it out to him. What is the best way to give him the news that he will not walk again. His best friend was killed in the accident, so we also have to give him that news. Where can we look to get help on doing this right? It is not like we can go back and do it over if we screw this part up. We get one chance and I think it will affect his outlook completely in the rehab to come. Any advise will be welcomed.
    Last edited by AuntDeena; 05-11-2006 at 10:40 AM.

  2. #2
    My heart goes out to you.....its not an easy task that lies before you. Is it possible to ask a member of the clergy to accompany you? They do have a way of consoling those receiving bad news.

    Beyond that, I really have no advice, except that you should tell him sooner than later.

    Dave
    Dave

  3. #3
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    HOLY CRAP....... He sounds lucky to be alive... Do they have any idea of his functional level? If he's a para it could be an upside...... Better thana quad.

    Good luck, and sorry your in our world now.

  4. #4
    Patonb - that is putting it mildly! He is like humpty dumpty at the moment. He also has 8 broken ribs, fractured left scapula, esophagus injury, and both lungs collapsed. Lucky to be alive is an understatement. He is moving his arms and hands, both arms and his left hand are strong and he is moving his right hand, but it is a bit weak. He is young and the paramedics were awesome! My concern now is how lucky he is going to feel when we tell him that he won't walk again and his buddy is dead. I am not so sure he will feel like a lucky guy. I love this boy will all of my heart and want this to be as easy for him as possible. I am looking for a magic answer from someone with just the right words..... I am not going to get it am I?
    Last edited by AuntDeena; 05-09-2006 at 08:41 PM.

  5. #5
    first of all welcome to cc. there are alot of great ppl. here with great approaches to this. i too am with Herco, sooner than later, but would NOT SAY HE'D NEVER WALK... we don't know what the future holds with technology.. good luck to all of you..

    sorry, but there is no ''magic answer''... the truth and time and a ton of therapy and positive reinforcements from everyone.. he will need his family to be very supportive...
    Last edited by 2jazzyjeff; 05-09-2006 at 08:47 PM.





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  6. #6
    I feel for you. Telling anyone anything bad is horrible, but especially some thing like this...and his friend. Sad.

    I would tell him what you know, but be slow & gentle about it. I think that blurting it out abruptly could put the sting in it. Answer any questions he has. He's 16 and may not understand all of what is going on or what lies ahead, but he can grasp some of it.

    Let him know that he has support. He not only has the injury, but his friend's death he will have to deal with, and it may be harder than he expects. He'll need you when it sinks in.

    Again, sorry. My prayers go out to you and your family.
    If there is light
    it will find
    you

    --Charles Bukowski

  7. #7
    I just read your response--and any arm/hand movement with a C3/4 fracture is amazing. Don't give up yet.

    :::hugs:::
    If there is light
    it will find
    you

    --Charles Bukowski

  8. #8
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
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    my heart goes out to you all,

    i'm with jazzyjeff in do not tell him he'll never walk again.

    tell him about carecure, tell him there's lots of very promising work going on, he'll know soon enough this ain't no picnic......keep hope alive....play it by ear and not sure when peer support comes in.....so right now it's his family and friends to get him through one scary time.

    all the best
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  9. #9
    Senior Member mr_coffee's Avatar
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    Yes that is very good news about arm/hand movment at that level. So don't tell him he won't ever walk again. Telling someone that does no good. All that does is give them another reason to give up.

    So don't listen to the doctors, they don't know everything. I'm very sorry to hear that he has to deal with all this at such an young age.
    Injured:10-16-04
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Broknwing's Avatar
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    I'm not sure exactly how to tell him what happened. But what I do vaguely remember from being in a drug-induced coma for almost 2 weeks is that I kept having to ask where I was and what happened. Please don't be shocked or surprised if you have to explain it to him more than once. I know it'll be hard and telling him over and over agiain will be even tougher, but the reality is that he's not going to completely comprehend when he does come to. It's going to take a little bit of time before his brain is clear enough to even grasp what you may have to tell him 2 or 3 or even 5 or 6 times. I might recommend that the first time he asks, maybe tell him that he was in an accident and that he's in the hospital...when he's a lil more alert and can actually grasp it, then tell him the more drastic information.

    My thoughts are with you & your family, this has got to be a really tough time for you. I hope that you have been able to read up a little bit and are getting him into a good CARF accredited SCI rehab center once he's READY to go. Where do you live? There are a lot of members here that can recommend centers depending on where you are located(and some of us can steer you clear of others...like where I went). We're all here to help you, feel free to ask as many questions as you need.
    'Chelle
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