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Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the DarkReconstructing Life after Brain Injury$
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Ruthann Knechel Johansen

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520231146

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520231146.001.0001

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The Impact of Vulnerability

The Impact of Vulnerability

(p.4) Threshold One The Impact of Vulnerability
Listening in the Silence, Seeing in the Dark

Ruthann Knechel Johansen

University of California Press

This chapter presents several challenges faced by Erik, whose mother got the news of his accident when she was attending a prayer in church. She had many questions to ask from the caller, but tried to concentrate on the directions to the hospital that they gave, and tried to subdue catastrophic mental images of death and the severely mangled bodies of the entire canoe party. Erik's mother found it very difficult to inform her husband and her twelve-year-old daughter, Sonia about the accident. Erik's family members met Richard Weeder, the Young Friends' adviser, who was a surgeon himself, and the emergency room physician at the hospital, and both tried to be reassuring, describing everything that had already been done for Erik. Each day Erik's and his family members' vulnerability deepened and manifested itself in new ways.

Keywords:   serious accident, mangled bodies, catastrophic mental images, emergency room physician, rituals of meditating

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