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Rep. Giffords and her recovery from the traumatic brain injury

Ohio workers should be prepared for the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries. If the traumatic brain injury was caused by dangerous work conditions or an on-the-job injury, workers' compensation benefits can be key in being prepared for long periods without work and lifelong incapacities.

Take the case of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the shooting that left her with a brain injury. In January, Giffords was shot in the forehead by a gunman who left six people dead and 13 injured. Originally, it was believed that Rep. Giffords would most certainly die, but despite the odds, she survived. After several surgeries, including a recent treatment that repaired a gap in her skull which was giving her brain room to swell, the congresswoman has proven that she is a strong fighter.

Two pictures have been recently released showing her physical appearance is not as dramatic as could be assumed. Her hair is short because it had to be shaved before brain surgery but her general appearance is far from what most would expect. She looks healthy and happy, and if you didn't know she suffered a major brain injury, the photograph certainly wouldn't give it away.

Regardless, many questions remain about her mental condition. One of her spokeswomen has stated that she still relies on facial gestures and broken sentences to communicate. Many are wondering when, if ever, she'll be able to return to her post as a politician.

The intricacies involved with her brain injury run deep. Doctors are unable to determine accurate estimations of Giffords' recuperation period because there are bullet fragments in her head. This eliminates the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which is much more detailed than a CT scan.

The healing process for brain injuries is arduous. Strong workers' compensation benefits can alleviate some of the stress put on an individual and his or her family.

Source: CBS News, "Giffords may leave hospital in coming weeks," The Associated Press, 13 June 2011

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