Medford Student Beats Odds With Brain Injury

With just a year left of college, Tessa Venell was looking forward to her senior year. But a car accident in July 2006 left the then 21-year-old Medford resident in a coma with broken bones and a traumatic brain injury.

Doctors told the family their daughter had a 10-percent chance of making a functional recovery, meaning there was a 90 percent chance she might never be able to take care of herself again.”We didn’t have a good prognosis,” said Tessa’s mother, Julie Venell. “I think you kind of protect yourself from believing that.” We’d hoped she’d be in the other percentage. You don’t even let that sink in.”

Despite the dismal forecast, Tessa overcame the odds. One year after her accident, she returned to finish her degree at Brandeis University. She went on to film an environmental documentary in China and is now writing a book about her recovery and rehabilitation.

“She’s had remarkable accomplishments for people who didn’t have a brain injury,” said Dr. Douglas Katz, medical director of the Acquired Brain Injury Pogram at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital. “The fact she was able to return, complete college a year after and complete a documentary movie is just remarkable in and of itself.”

Tessa, who has lived in South Medford for the last three years, now works as a grant writer for the Ivy Street School in Brookline, which treats and educates a growing number of young people with brain injuries and other neurological difficulties.

Full Article and Source:
Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation – Medford Student Beats Odds With Brain Injury

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3 Responses to “Medford Student Beats Odds With Brain Injury”

  1. Thelma Says:

    What a wonderful story!

  2. Barbara Says:

    I agree! A real miracle!

  3. StandUp Says:

    How inspiring! And it's another example of the abuse of Gary Harvey, who is left to lay there day after day with hardly any human contact or stimulation. Elder abuse for sure.

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