Congratulations to Danielle Porter, winner of the 2019 Bressman Law Traumatic Brain Injury Scholarship. Danielle is a 20-year-old student at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio, who shared her remarkable journey of recovery in her winning essay.
Danielle is one of the millions of people each year who have suffered brain trauma. In 2017, Danielle was a successful, carefree high school senior, on schedule to become class valedictorian when a horrific car accident nearly killed her.
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As she explains in her interview below, her condition was so traumatic that she was rushed into surgery and didn’t receive a CT scan that would have revealed brain trauma. The crash severed her femoral artery and saving Danielle’s life was first priority. She also suffered from a shattered femur, broken knee, pelvis fracture, and blood loss. It wasn’t until she began her first year of college that anyone realized Danielle has also suffered a debilitating brain injury as a result of the crash.
Danielle had a scholarship to attend the University of Akron, but once there, the straight-A student could barely keep up with classes. She visited her neurologist after first-quarter grades came out and her neurologist diagnosed her as having post-concussion syndrome which resulted in profound memory loss.
“It was scary because she didn’t know if it was for a year or two years,’’ Danielle said. Her memory loss lasted about eight months.
Danielle transferred home to University of Mount Union and was able to get back on track with her studies. She said her recovery and the journey after would not have been possible without the support of her parents, Brenda and Michael Porter, and her four siblings.
Today she is a sophomore biology major with plans to pursue medical school. Her professional choice was inspired by her trauma surgeon and the immense comfort he gave her shortly after the accident.
“He took the time to assure me that everyone would be OK. He had me during the worst day of my life.”
Danielle wants people to know that traumatic brain injury is difficult to understand, especially since no one can actually see the injury.
“It’s nothing you can see, this thing that was wreaking havoc on me, no one else could see,” she said.
Congratulations, again to Danielle on her recovery.
As personal injury attorneys, we have witnessed countless clients who have suffered from this sometimes invisible, but serious injury. That’s why since 2015 we’ve awarded at least a few scholarships a year to deserving students who have been affected by traumatic brain injuries.
For more information on the Bressman Law Traumatic Brain Injury Scholarship, check out the details here.