Kristin's Long Road of Recovery
Organized by: Carlie Mock
A heartfelt update from Josh, please take a moment to read.
May 24, 2016
Kristin Gablehouse is a vibrant, young, active woman in her 30’s. Married to her husband Josh for more than five years, last summer the two journeyed out on what should have been every cycling couple’s dream vacation—a bike tour from Vienna to Venice. Their friends and families watched as Josh posted pictures and descriptions of each day’s ride: images filled with tired legs, good food and pure happiness. It all came to an end on the sixth day when a dog bolted into the road from its yard, running directly into Kristin’s front wheel and throwing her to the pavement in an accident that will result in years of rehabilitation. At the time, they had no idea what was to come in the weeks and months ahead. Kristin was diagnosed with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a condition that leaves her in constant mental fatigue and challenged by even simplest of tasks. The recovery will not be easy and she has a long road ahead to heal her brain from the impact. Before the accident Kristin was a successful veterinarian and equine surgeon for ten years, winning the devotion of many pet lovers who appreciated her kind and competent approach. The week of the crash she was set to begin an online master's degree program in Health Communication through the University of Illinois. Since the accident, Kristin struggles with many cognitive issues. She was forced to give up her job at a vet clinic and had to leave graduate school. Social situations are too overwhelming for her brain. She cannot manage a trip to the grocery store for more than five minutes before losing her cognition and decision making processes. Driving is nearly impossible. In quiet moments at home she is limited from too much screen time, meaning she can’t watch TV, work on a computer or even look at her phone for too long. Her isolation is extremely difficult, and she struggles on a daily basis to maintain a sense of herself. After months of struggling to get help within the medical system, while simultaneously battling to find legal support to hold the dog’s owner accountable in Austria, Kristin and Josh have found themselves at the end of their options. Without the ability to work and the dog owner’s insurance refusing to pay, recourse has become severely limited. They also need to get medical records translated into German to determine if further legal action in Austria is possible. The stress on Kristin and Josh personally and financially has become such that we, their friends and family, are asking for financial help. Nearly all forms of therapy for a TBI are not covered by conventional health insurance and are cash pay visits. Know that your support is going to help Kristin get back into therapy as they have been kept to a tight monthly budget with her missing income. We know that Kristin needs support in order to heal, with many years of healing to come. Any amount will help in a big way. From Kristin, Josh and all their caring friends and family, we all thank you.