Before May 3, 2008, 17-year-old Kate Evans lived a fairly normal teenaged life. She was a junior at Masconomet High in Topsfield, Massachusetts where she played as a defender on the lacrosse team. She drove a hybrid and was preparing to take her SAT. But on that May night, after a test prep study session at a friend’s house, her 2005 Toyota Prius spun out on the wet road, hydroplaning. The resulting accident and injuries stole almost a year of Kate Evans’ life.
The call Kate’s parents received after midnight on that May night was every parent’s nightmare come true. Kate was being flown to Boston Medical Center, and the extent of her injuries was unknown.
“I was emotionally crippled for a moment of time. It was touch-and-go for three days, where she was on life support and in a coma,” said Kate’s mother, Karen Evans, in an interview on a local news site.
Kate’s family waited at the hospital for the doctors to determine the extent of Kate’s injuries and offer a prognosis. They only knew she had suffered a traumatic brain injury and that a piece of metal was embedded in the side of Kate’s face, a shard that, if removed, could cause paralysis of the facial nerves.
Kate slept for three weeks. While she was out, the doctors finally diagnosed her with a diffuse axonal injury. Diffuse axonal injuries are among the most common traumatic brain injuries, occurring in approximately half of sufferers. Instead of concentrating in a single area of the brain (i.e. a focal brain injury), they occur over a widespread area. Or, as Karen Evans put it, ““It’s like if you take three different forms of Jell-o and swung it around so it’s all meshed into one.” Later, when Kate was finally allowed to go home, she recalls holding a shampoo bottle, sobbing as she realized that she was physically unable to remove its cap.
But fortunately, Kate’s story has a happy ending. She made the decision to power through her therapy, earning her the nickname “Diesel.” And on March 31st, less than a year after the injury that almost literally turned her brain to Jell-o, Kate Evans was back on the lacrosse field for her first game of the year.
Beyond her triumphant lacrosse return, Kate is now choosing between her two top choice colleges, where she plans to go into interior design. Kate Evans is a role model – a young woman who did not let incredible obstacles stop her from carrying on with her promising life.
As medical science advances, more and more traumatic brain injury stories will end like Kate Evans’. Until that time, if you have suffered an accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury, you may have legal rights. Call MLN Law at (404) 531-9700 and speak with an aggressive, caring lawyer who can help.
For more on this story:
Diffuse Axonal Injury, BrainandSpinalCord.com