Editor's Note: This information came from a press release sent to Los Gatos Patch by St. Mary's School. It may have been edited for clarity and brevity.
Receiving a brain injury diagnosis after a car accident, birth injury or other traumatic event is devastating.
Both the injured person and his or her family have many questions and the future can seem very uncertain.
The community of 30 Lyndon Ave., experienced this first-hand when one of its students, Charlie Laurencio, sustained a brain injury while skateboarding in June of 2012.
Fortunately, the road of recovery for Charlie has been remarkable.
While in the hospital, Charlie’s family forged a strong bond with Delva Zamarron, the mother of a brain-injury patient, Everett. Everett’s recovery is more extensive than that of Charlie’s and is marked with great accomplishments and difficult set-backs.
When the eighth-grade class at St. Mary’s was considering recipients for their Halloween carnival fundraiser, they naturally turned to an experience that was close at heart for many of the students.
Without hesitation they donated their proceeds, $1200, to Everett’s recovery needs. Everett visited St. Mary’s in person, where the check was presented to him.
A brain injury happens to someone in the United States once every 23 seconds - that's more than 1.5 million people every year. More than 2 percent of Americans live with disabilities caused by brain and head injuries.
Delva Zamarron’s Story -
On June 5, 2012, after having a nice day, the kids cleaned the kitchen and went their separate ways with friends. I got a phone call at 6:30 pm, from my son’s best friend screaming, crying and telling me he won’t wake up. I had no idea what he was talking about. Although I soon found out my son fell off his longboard, landing on the left the side of his head instantly putting him in a coma. I had no idea they were up on the hill where they shouldn't have been.
I ran out of the house drove to the area where they were boarding at, only to find a scene out of movie. A large crowd had assembled at the elementary school where the helicopter had landed, fire trucks, police and ambulances were scattered about. My son no where to be seen. As I jumped out of my SUV, the ambulance doors popped open and four medics and a couple of firemen pulled out my son. He was lying on a gurney, half naked, wearing a spinal collar, with three IVs and a breathing tube in place. It felt like my worst nightmare and was so surreal. I couldn't believe this was happening. A fireman saw me running towards him and he stopped me to calm me down, my body went limp as I tried to comprehend the scene, the wind was blowing with the helicopter 30 ft away. They told me to speak to my son before he left. I told him I loved him and that he would get better and I'll see him at the hospital.
I took leave from my job to care for my son in the hospital, my daughter joined me to care for my son Everett and be by his side and that is where we remained throughout his hospital stay. Everett was in a coma for 25 days, those were the longest days of my life not knowing if he was going to wake up. The first night in the hospital he had surgery. The neurosurgeon placed a pic line in his scull to drain the excess fluid to relive the pressure in my son’s brain. This procedure worked for a while. A week later the doctor insisted he needed a craniotomy. My son had half of his skull taken out so the brain can swell if needed to and relieve the pressure naturally without placing pressure on the rest of the brain. This helped him significantly. Due to the brain injury to the left side of his brain, my son’s right side of his body was left with no mobility. Soon after three more weeks after he woke and regained some strength, Everett was able to go to rehabilitation to begin his physical healing and to relearn how to talk, walk and use his arm again. Rehab was working. Everett was learning how to talk again, was regaining his memory and was walking with help, and eating solids again. His release date was to be August 14th. One week prior to going home Everett developed hydro-cephalus. His brain swelled and became clogged. What the brain was doing naturally suddenly stopped and placed a lot of pressure to Everett's brain and needed immediate surgery to have a shunt permanently placed his brain. The shunt helps to drain his fluid so he doesn't swell again. One week after the shunt placement he had his skull returned he was finally whole again.
After a long couple of more months, lots of therapy Everett finally got to come home on October 10, 2012. Everett again lost his mobility on the right side of his body after his surgery and is still in a wheelchair. Everett attends physical and occupational therapy every week to regain mobility to his right side. He lost his memory as well as day to day memory. It is very difficult for me because he doesn't remember who I am from one minute to the next.
If you would like to support Everett’s recovery needs , please visit the following site - http://delzamblog.blogspot.com/