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"It took four years to fully accept my TBI and its lasting consequences, but through it, I found my purpose in life."
DUBLIN, OH, September 22, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Faelan O'Shaughnessy, a fully independent doctoral student at The Ohio State University (OSU), is the winner of the Bressman Law Traumatic Brain Injury Scholarship. The law firm will award O'Shaughnessy $1,000 toward her studies at the university. The award will help her continue to achieve her goal of obtaining a Doctor of Occupational Therapy.
OSU Student's TBI Experiences Inspire Her Pursuit of a Doctor of Occupational Therapy
O'Shaughnessy suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a car accident during her junior year of high school. She says the injury left her with the capacity of a fourth grader. She went from being an honors student and two-sport varsity athlete to being barely able to read or write.
She pressed ahead and worked to recover from her injury, attending neurological rehabilitation three times a week to receive occupational, speech, and physical therapy. Still, halfway through her recovery, she says her rehab team did not expect her to recover just as she was beginning to feel hopeful that she would.
"I saw the ephemeral glimpse of college fade right before my eyes, and it left me in one of the darkest places of my life," she writes in her scholarship essay. "It wasn't easy, but I realized that I had two choices: to give up or to persevere. I decided that no one could determine my future for me. Six months later, I made what my therapists still call a 'miraculous recovery,' and I was even given the green light to return to school full-time."
College Career Leads to a Return to Sports and an Interest in Neuroscience
O'Shaughnessy completed her high-school studies, graduating in May 2017. She then entered Carthage College, where her fresh start led to becoming a student tennis player in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a growing interest in neuroscience. Still, she kept her TBI to herself during her first year at Carthage. Taking a course in neuroscience changed her mind about that.
"I learned about the underlying mechanisms of brain injury and regeneration. I started to see myself as a unique and capable individual, and the feelings of shame that once surrounded my TBI turned into pride for conquering such large adversity," she says.
TBI Offers "Rare Perspective" and Opportunity to Connect With Others
O'Shaughnessy believes her personal experiences and challenges of recovering from a TBI will help her connect with future patients in a way few others can.
"I believe that, because of my journey, I've developed a rare perspective that lets me relate to patients in a way most therapists can't," she says. "I don't wish to go back in time and change what happened to me; everything happens for a reason, and I've learned strength, empathy, and acceptance through my struggles. It took four years to fully accept my TBI and its lasting consequences, but through it, I found my purpose in life."
There's merit in not giving up, no matter the circumstances. Perseverance is paying off for O'Shaughnessy. "Today, I know that I am more than just a TBI survivor—I am a survivor who overcame every roadblock that I wasn't supposed to cross. Five years ago, I was mentally 10 years old. Now, I'm just two years away from being called 'Doctor'," she says.
About Bressman Law
Bressman Law is a family-owned personal injury law firm that advocates for injured Ohioans and pursues financial compensation to help them recover from various kinds of losses. For 60-plus years, the firm's attorneys have worked to protect the rights and interests of their clients throughout the state.
At Bressman Law, everyone who seeks the firm's help gets an attorney who listens to their story and treats their case with the attention and respect it deserves. The firm advocates for traumatic brain injury victims and created the scholarship to raise awareness so the public knows about the unique challenges TBI patients face.
If you or someone you know in the Ohio area would like legal representation, you can reach out to us for a free consultation now.
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