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Traumatic Brain Injury
On an early spring morning in 2006, when Bonnie Frost called out to her 11-year-old son Graeme from the kitchen of their Baltimore row home, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "Car designer!" he replied, barely looking up from Nintendo -- as though it had always been part of the game plan. And this seemed remarkable to her, for just a year prior neither she nor her son could have fathomed such thoughts.
The Frost family saga divides in two parts: before December 3, 2004 and after. For on that day, the Frost's car hit ice, then a tree, and Graeme's head hit the window with a force that caused his brain to bleed. He was transported to a hospital where he underwent surgery to relieve the swelling. Graeme remained in a coma for several days. Once his vital signs were stable, he was transferred to Kennedy Krieger's Brain Injury Unit for three and one-half months of round-the- clock, multidisciplinary care.
This would result in him regaining most of the functions he'd lost, but Bonnie recalls that it was during this rehabilitative period that Graeme's goals became much smaller in scope and yet so large in their implications. "The goal was for Graeme to swallow, to lift his head, to speak. We didn't know if he would walk, or even eat on his own. Every step of Graeme's progress at Kennedy Krieger was cause for celebration." And so it was that when her son so nonchalantly responded that some day he may design cars, Bonnie closed her eyes and with joy and relief, thanked her lucky stars!