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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Madonna team taps into brain injury survivor’s passions as motivation

February 07, 2019

A friendly game of Battleship is helping Nick Brandriet regain his thinking and reasoning skills, not to mention improve his speech. This after the 36-year-old suffered a brain bleed Thanksgiving weekend resulting in an anoxic brain injury. 

"Nick was someone who came to us that was unable to do most everything when he got here. He was unable to eat, he was unable to talk, he had a very hard time processing and thinking through things,” said  Allison Carson, Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals' speech-language pathologist.

Therapy sessions incorporating familiar games, routines and passions help Nick progress quickly. Goals and milestones achieved are celebrated. 

"One of my favorite memories with Nick we went out of the facility and got pizza for lunch. I’ve never seen him so happy. He ate like five pieces of pizza and came back filled with joy," recalls Allison. 

Adding in specialized technology including the Bioness also help with muscle and function activation. 

"Music is a large part of his life. At Guitar Center it was mostly guitars and drums he was surrounded by. It was cool to see him in his element. I incorporated sequencing and that was all therapy," said Allison. 

For Nick, his plans are to get back to work as a used car salesman and hang out with family and friends. He says, "My goals for 2019 are above and beyond everything life has given me."
"Nick is another example of why I do what I do. Because for those patients who are so motivated and making suck good progress, it is amazing," said Allison.
Learn more about Madonna's unique brain injury program.