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A man falls down a roof shaft, suffers a traumatic brain injury

What one up-and-coming San Francisco attorney thought was going to be an opportunity to catch a unique view of the city on a pleasant evening in Feb. 2017, ended up being much more life-altering than he expected. That evening, he had the misfortune of stepping atop of an uncovered, narrow exhaust pipe on the building's roof in the darkness.

After a 40-foot fall, he became trapped deep down inside of the shaft. Rescuers ultimately had to drill a hole into a wall in the apartment below to free him from his three-by-three foot cell.

Once assessed by emergency room physicians, he was found to have suffered in the fall included fractured ribs, kidney damage, collapsed lungs, a broken neck and hips, and a severed spleen. Upon further investigation, he was also diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Nearly three million Americans are diagnosed with TBIs each year.

Doctors were later able to determine that he'd suffered bruising to his brain, damaged nerve fibers and ruptured blood vessels as a result of his fall. It's believed that swelling led to significant brain pressure. A significant amount of cerebrospinal fluid that had accumulated was later removed resulting in very little improvement in his condition.

His injuries have left him unable to experience typical brain function he enjoyed before the incident.

That was evident when he was released from the hospital a number of weeks after his injury. His family tried to honor his wishes of returning to some semblance of normal life. They allowed him to return to his apartment and his law handed him some legal work to complete under one of the partner's supervision. It was, however, quickly apparent that he wasn't ready to return to way things were.

He returned home to live with his family and to adjust to living a life different from what he'd anticipated.

Many neurosurgeons describe TBIs as being even more complex to diagnose than cancer. They attribute this to the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved a CT scan for diagnosing them. As a side note, no clinical trials have existed that have been successful in treating TBIs to date either.

If your loved one has suffered a TBI due to someone else's negligence, then a Charleston, West Virginia, brain injury attorney may be able to provide guidance in your legal matter.

Source: University of California San Francisco, "Traumatic Brain Injury: A Devastating Fall, A Climb Back to Health," Dresden Joswig, Dec. 20, 2017

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