Battling Back from a Brain Injury


In early October, Courtney Richardson was driving when a deer ran into the roadway. As she veered to avoid it her car flipped ejecting her out. Her severe injuries, including a brain injury, required her to be air-lifted to a trauma hospital, where she remained in a comatose state until Christmas.

“The trauma hospital told us there was nothing more they could do for Courtney’s recovery,” recalls her mother Lisa. “They recommended that I put her in a residential facility, but I just couldn’t do that and I was planning on bringing her home when on January 2, Courtney spoke her first words in months.”

“Every morning I would walk into Courtney’s room and say ‘Hi, sweetheart. Mommy loves you,’ and that morning she replied ‘I love you too mommy.’ That was a very emotional day,” said Lisa. Courtney’s doctors then agreed that inpatient rehabilitation could help her.

Although she was uninsured at the time of her accident, she was able to receive rehab thanks to funding from the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Head and Spinal Cord Injury Division. Only CARF accredited programs can receive this funding, and the Lowcountry’s only CARF accredited traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury programs are at the Roper Rehabilitation Hospital.

Courtney was in Roper Rehabilitation Hospital for over a month. The therapists there worked to help her regain her ability to walk. They also worked to rebuild her cognitive skills and vocabulary. “At Roper Rehabilitation Hospital, Courtney just soared,” says Lisa. “The therapists really pushed her when they knew she could do more. They pushed her to want more for herself.”

Every day Courtney continues to improve. Her mother says nearly all of Courtney’s comprehension has returned and that she is walking with a cane. She also says Courtney is looking forward to going back to work in the near future.