Help With Healing

By Attorney Joyce Novotny-Prettiman and Client Terry H.

Before her motorcycle collision, Terry H. was a strong, self-sufficient individual who was busy raising a teenage daughter. But everything changed one morning when she was in a motorcycle accident. Terry was flown by helicopter to a trauma center for treatment. After discharge, she required in-patient rehabilitation, and over a month passed before she could return home. Unfortunately, Terry had a particularly grueling recovery which was plagued by an infection and numerous surgeries. She worried for months that she would end up with an amputation of her right leg. Terry lost her job and her independence - but she never lost her will to fight. There was an emotional component to her recovery that had not been addressed. Terry hopes that her experience will help others out there who are facing the daunting task of trying to get their life back after trauma. Terry is coming back strong!

"After my body had healed from the trauma of my motorcycle accident and surgeries and the rehabilitation I went through, I started having some issues and could not figure out what was wrong. I was feeling very agitated and anxious and my daughter would frequently describe me as 'snippy.' I could not sleep and felt as though I was coming out of my skin. My filter was gone and I began to say things to others without considering the impact of my words. I was even having left arm pain and chest pain. The bottom line is that my anxiety was through the roof! I was surprised my doctor said that these issues could be related to the trauma of my accident and recommended that I see a therapist for post-traumatic stress. This is the last thing I thought I would need since I have a very supportive family and network of friends. After meeting with Fran, who is now my therapist, for a few months, I discovered that I am dealing with some trauma from the accident, but the majority of my feelings had come from the aftermath. I was stuck in my nightmare of a recovery. Fran is teaching me coping skills and relaxation techniques. The therapy has helped a great deal. Perhaps if I had connected the dots earlier and sought help from a therapist, my post-traumatic stress would have been less severe. I am so thankful that I have learned more about what was happening to me, and more importantly, about how I can help myself heal completely. I share my experience in the hopes of helping even one more person to realize that there is help out there. You don't have to allow trauma to control you!"

At QR, we advocated for Terry to obtain a lump sum settlement in her personal injury claim and underinsured motorist coverage. We also defended her from a subrogation or reimbursement claim by her health insurance carrier in connection with the personal injury claim. We represented her in a Social Security Disability claim which resulted in her being awarded benefits. Finally, we assisted her with battle with her private disability carrier. Her recovery is more complete since her therapist, Fran, has become involved in her treatment.