When Your Child is in the Hospital

Just hearing the words "brain injury" can shock you and leave you feeling frightened, confused, and overwhelmed. Most parents don't know what to expect when told that their child's brain has been injured. Common questions are:

  1. What does this mean?
  2. How serious is this?
  3. What is a coma?
  4. Will my child be all right?
  5. How long will my child be in the hospital?

Parents often become physically and emotionally exhausted during the first days or weeks of their child's hospital stay. Days can seem endless as time turns into a confusing blur of people and information. As hours are spent just sitting, watching and waiting, a feeling of helplessness adds to the worry and uncertainty.

Many parents are away from home and take time off from work to be at the hospital. Other children are left at home or in the care of friends or relatives. Some parents face the crisis of injury alone; others are with family members for support. Some families become closer in a crisis, while others find it even harder to be together. The only thing that is certain is that life has changed for the entire family. Most parents survive by taking it a day at a time. For now, it is okay to avoid thinking about the future.

This chapter will help you understand what happens in the hospital by explaining:

  1. Different stages of recovery
  2. Common tests, procedures, and equipment
  3. Roles of various health care workers

This guide will help you:

  1. Take care of yourself.
  2. Play a key role in your child's care.
  3. Help brothers, sisters, and other family members.
  4. Prepare for the future with your child.