Unthinkable: Tips for Surviving a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury
AWARDS: Unthinkable won FIRST in the 2012 ReaderViews’ Health/Fitness category. First in the 2012 Polka Dot Banner Literary Awards – Best Health Book! Unthinkable also won the 2012 National Indie Excellence Finalist Book Award – Health General Category!
“Following her own child’s harrowing traumatic brain injury Dixie Fremont-Smith Coskie wrote a highly acclaimed book which emotionally and passionately documented her nightmarish journey as mother and caregiver. In that book, “Unthinkable: A Mother’s Tragedy, Terror and Triumph Through a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury,” published in 2010, each chapter, written with deep emotion, is concluded with tips for coping and participating throughout the process. It was these rational tips that offset the unbridled emotion in that first book.
In the Introduction of her new, follow-up book, “Unthinkable: Tips for Surviving a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury,” the author has excerpted these tips to create a concise yet thorough caregiver’s companion. Coskie’s priceless experience make this book a valuable resource for dealing with an unthinkable, life-changing event for which none of us is ever prepared. Coskie presents her tips in ten sections. The first group of tips addresses the steps and components of preparedness. The advice offered in this section is not unlike that which is generally recommended for any medical emergency. But, the reader is cautioned not to assume that brain trauma events are like other medical events.
Section 2, “Traumatic Event,” will abruptly and jarringly dismantle that false assumption. And from that point forward, the reader will be riveted by information that might make some readers simply give up and set the book aside. But read on we must if we, our child and our other family members are to have any chance at all of surviving one of the most horrific and unthinkable occurrences that can befall us. Not only should primary and secondary caregivers and other family members read this book, so should doctors and medical services providers involved in the process. Each section of tips following Section 1 in “Unthinkable: Tips for Surviving a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury” continually startled me with relentless “slaps in the face” of reality.
But I feel blessed for having had the opportunity to read the book and I am grateful that Dixie Fremont-Smith Coskie had the strength and passion to share her experience and lessons learned. Otherwise, who would have known?”
Joseph Yurt, for Reader Views (Read interview with Dixie)
If you or someone you love find yourself in the dreadful position of having a child in an Intensive Care Unit due to a traumatic brain injury (or other cause, such as meningitis, encephalitis, diabetic coma, or drug overdose), Dixie Coskie’s book will provide you with mental and emotional handholds to help you get through these difficult times and beyond. Just the right size for a handbag, briefcase, or backpack, this handy book in an easy-to-read bulleted format walks you through the stages you will likely encounter. Appropriately, “hope” is a recurrent theme. Dixie Coskie has walked the walk. A stunning four-page Afterword (ten years after her son’s cataclysmic head injury) tells what she and her family went through and where they’ve gotten to today. This book is not just for caregivers but for caregivers of caregivers. Social workers, nurses, and rehab therapists who deal with families touched by traumatic brain injury will also find this book useful. It should be in the waiting room of every pediatric and adolescent Intensive Care Unit in the country.
Joel Herskowitz, M.D., Pediatric Neurologist
Co-Author of “Pediatrics, Neurology, and Psychiatry: Common Ground”
Unthinkable: Tips for Surviving a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury, is a powerful how-to guide for parents of a child who has suffered a brain injury. This series of comprehensive tip sheets begins at the moment of the accident and moves systematically through every phase of hospitalization and rehabilitation, then home to the community. The tips cover what to expect, questions to ask, resources to investigate, insider knowledge, and how to care for the caregiver and other children in the family. Dixie even offers tips to keep life outside the hospital running as smoothly as possible. A family in crisis in a new environment could use the tip sheets as a checklist and anchor in the new world of brain injury.
Dixie’s combination of honest information and valuable suggestions makes this the best book about pediatric brain injury I’ve read. And as the spouse of an adult with a severe brain injury, I can vouch that many of Dixie’s tips are applicable to adults. Unthinkable: Tips for Surviving a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury, would make a most welcome gift for parents who crave an advocate who offers hope, direction, inspiration, coaching, and a warm arm around their shoulder. Every acute care and rehabilitation hospital would do well to hand out Unthinkable to the families of brain injury patients.
Dixie’s first book, Unthinkable: A Mother’s Tragedy, Terror, and Triumph through a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury details the story of her son Paul’s traumatic brain injury, fight for survival, and the family’s journey of recovery. I recommend ordering both books together for your own enlightenment, and as a gift for a family anywhere along the pathway to recovery.
Janet M. Cromer “Author” (Bethesda, MD)
“Dixie, by popular demand, compiled the tips from her book Unthinkable, and published a booklet, Unthinkable: Tips on Surviving a Child’s Traumatic Brain Injury Brain Injury Survival Tips for Parents, Caregivers, Friends & Health Care Professionals. This booklet gives both parents and healthcare professionals practical tips and tools to help them better navigate the doctor/nurse/therapist/patient relationship, and ultimately to cope and survive through TBI… 5 Stars”
Lorna d’Entremont, Special Needs Book Review (Read Dixie’s interview with Lorna)