A recent story out of Nova Scotia shows us why everyone involved- you, your family, your rehabilitation team, your lawyers- strive so hard to maximize your recovery: Fifteen-year-old Joellan Huntley was thrown from a car that had swerved to avoid a dog running loose along a road in Centreville, Nova Scotia, on April 18, 1996. The collision claimed the life of her boyfriend and a young girl who was the sister of the driver. Joellan suffered severe injuries including a catastrophic brain injury that rendered her quadriplegic and unable to speak. She required 24-hour care and was fed through a tube. Although she remained aware of her surroundings, her communication was limited to unintelligible sounds.
This Christmas, Joellan communicated one-on-one with her mother for the first time in 21 years using eye-motion cameras and software on a tablet to respond to a comment about her clothes.
The software, called Eyegaze, presents icons that the user navigates by her eye movements. Joellan is learning to use it with the help of her speech-language pathologist.
Funding for the software and Joellan’s ongoing treatment needs is available thanks to a large settlement with her accident benefits insurer negotiated by her lawyers, who continue to represent her interests against the provincial government. The province sued her to “claw back” a significant portion of the settlement for cost of care provided to Joellan. Currently, the case is before the courts to determine whether such behaviour is proper in a case like Joellan’s. If she is successful, it will have a huge beneficial impact on the treatment of subsequent injury victims.
There is a lot to admire in this story. Joellan and her family have endured financial and emotional hardship, as they have fought to secure funds for Joellan’s future needs against their own insurer. Joellan has persevered through serious setbacks and challenges, remaining positive and engaged for her future. Her rehabilitation team has continued to implement emerging technologies while working with Joellan to sustain her progress. Her legal team has fought for many years, and continues to fight to make a difference in her life and the lives of other accident victims.
All of them have sustained hope that better days are ahead for Joellan. You deserve the same level of commitment to your recovery. At Campisi LLP we pride ourselves on “Excellence first, clients always”. Itis our defining philosophy, our commitment to fight for your interests now and in the future. If you have been seriously injured, or know someone who has, please contact us… INSERT BLURB