Life can change in a blink of an eye. On Dec. 28, 2006, I was headed to work as a home health nursing manager when another driver lost control and crossed the center line. I tried to drive out of his path, but the poor weather and road conditions prevented it, and we collided nearly head on. I was transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital with extensive injuries and in critical condition. Due to the extent of my injuries and traumatic brain injury, my family was told that I may not survive.
I spent a month in acute care, with three weeks in the intensive care unit. As I wasn’t strong enough for inpatient rehab, I was sent to a rehabilitation nursing home. I spent nearly three months there before being transferred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for two more months of intense therapy. I learned to hold my head up, bathe, use the toilet and talk all over again.
I returned home June 30, 2007, six months after the accident. I needed 24-hour care which was provided by my husband every moment he wasn’t working and the rest by a private duty home care aide. I continued in outpatient therapy, relearning all of the activities of daily living that had been taken for granted prior to the accident.
Today, six and half years later, I have recovered to the point that I can get around short distances with a walker and use a wheelchair for longer errands. I continue to need daily assistance for safety with showering, dressing, meal preparation and mobility. Auto no-fault covers these needs that allow me to live in my own home.
The fact is, if HB 4612 were in effect when I was injured, the cap would’ve been reached before I even left the acute care setting. While the auto coverage would have been enough to save my life it would not have been enough to rehabilitate me to have any quality of life. This coverage is not something you ask for or plan for. You cannot predict who is going to need auto no-fault coverage or when. Are our state legislators willing to gamble that it won’t be one of their loved ones? Vote no on HB 4612.