HEAD INJURIES BRING TWO PEOPLE TO THE HOSPITAL -
AND TO THE ALTAR
Couple Will Celebrate 10th Anniversary in Rehab Hospital Where They Met
BRAINTREE, Mass., September 5, 2007 - It's not unusual for a couple to enjoy a nice romantic dinner on their 10th anniversary. It is a bit unusual when that dinner is held in a conference room of the rehabilitation hospital where they first met in a support group for people with traumatic brain injuries.
Rewind to February 1993. Rhonda, from Randolph, was in a terrible car accident on Route 128 in Woburn. She was Medflighted to Brigham's & Women's Hospital with serious brain trauma and a severe hip and leg injury that kept her there over a month (the accident claimed the life of the driver). She was subsequently transported to Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, where she underwent intensive therapy for her head trauma; the leg injury required her to learn to walk again. But after three months of excellent care and her own determination, she was able to return home.
Fast forward a bit to February 1994, just about a year later. Jack, a machinist from Braintree working in Avon Industrial Park, had suffered a serious head injury when a fan belt came off one of the large machines he was working on and struck him in the head. To exacerbate the injury, he then fell and hit his head on a toolbox. He was taken to Boston Medical center where he remained in a coma for four days. Thankfully, he did emerge from the coma and, after a two-week recovery and therapy at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital, he was also able to return home.
In May 1994, Jack learned of a traumatic brain injury support group at the hospital. Held on the third Thursday of every month, it gave people like Jack the chance to share their experiences, their fears, and their daily challenges with people who had undergone similar events. At his first meeting, to which his mother had driven him, he found that the door to the meeting room was locked. Another attendee and her mother were already there. Both mothers went off to find the reason for the locked door, leaving their children behind. The woman was Rhonda, who had been attending meetings for about six months.
Chatting away while their mothers sought assistance, Jack and Rhonda found they had much in common besides their injuries; an instant bond was formed. After a few years of dating (and attending more meetings), they were married on September 7, 1997 (9/7/97).
Now, on Friday, September 7 at 5:00 p.m., the 44-year-old Rhonda and 48-year-old Jack will dine on delicious Italian food brought in by Rhonda from Maria's Restaurant in Braintree to the hospital's second-floor conference room. And they will talk about the silver lining of the horrible injuries that brought them together.
"Obviously, the trauma that each of us went through represents some of the worst times of our lives," Rhonda said. "But without it, we never would have met. It shows that some good can come from even the most terrible things."
Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital is located at 250 Pond Street in Braintree.
For more information:
AGS Public Relations