Ruthann Knechel Johansen

in Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the Dark

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231146
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927766 | DOI:

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  • Medical Anthropology


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This chapter presents sufferings of fifteen-year-old Erik in Princeton Junction, when he met with a serious accident and had traumatic brain injury. When severe injury assaulted the boy's brain and central nervous system, his self no longer functioned in customary ways. The motor activity, sensation, and cognition stopped, and all languages that support these capacities were temporarily useless. The process of Erik's personal reconstruction took place on many levels at once. Every treatment protocol, each doctor, therapist, educator, and friend helped him to resume his normal life post-accident. Erik's family members helped him reassemble his shattered self and reorganize his life. The meditation and motivational stories help him resuming his normal life, and his mother could feel the sufferings of her unconscious son and pains of his undoing. Erik's parents and sister took several steps that helped him to enhance his personality post-accident.

Keywords: cognition; consciousness; personal reconstruction; treatment protocol; rehabilitation

Chapter.  1056 words. 

Subjects: Medical Anthropology

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