Go Blake Go!

Blake was born a neurotypical, healthy baby girl in December of 2017 and by 20 months old, had a very established personality. She was a toddler on a mission! Cheeky yet cautious, funny but sweet, and boy, did she love her food! We were headed home from a family vacation when our lives were changed forever. A 19 year old distracted driver smashed into the back of our car, hurtling us into the car in front of us while traveling along the highway in North Carolina. We were far from home as we were all rushed by ambulance to the nearest hospital and told a diagnosis that gave us such a small picture of what lay ahead. 

Blake had a Traumatic Brain Injury. 

This diagnosis is so unclear and comes with no promises or answers. From the moment we heard it, we’ve lived in a world of multiple doctors, specialists and therapists. The expression is “time heals all wounds” but with brain injury, “time reveals all wounds”. Since that moment, there has been so much information thrown at us and so many obstacles. 

Blake had brain surgery nine days after the accident. She opened her eyes for the first time a few days later. We learned that she was a clean slate and would have to relearn everything…walking, talking, eating, even smiling. We were in three different hospitals over five months before we headed home to navigate our way through the world of complex care with a medically fragile child. 

Today, Blake is five. She has a G-tube (a feeding tube surgically implanted in her stomach for medications and meals), epilepsy, and cortical vision impairment (a brain-based visual impairment). She takes a long list of medications three times a day to help with seizures, muscle tone, irritability, discomfort and sleep. She goes for Botox treatments three to four times a year to help loosen her muscles and treat the tone and spasticity in her body (apparently the anti-aging properties of Botox were not its original purpose!) She is now on a waitlist for hip surgery (a femoral osteotomy) because her muscle tone has caused hip subluxation of her right hip. She is incontinent, non-verbal and needs assistance in all activities of daily living. 

Blake is also attending school – a shining star in her kindergarten class as she teaches her classmates life lessons that go much deeper than the ABCs. Blake is on a modified schedule so she can attend private therapy five days per week – Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Massage, Speech & Language, Swimming and Music Therapy. She has her first loose tooth and is going to be participating in her first Kids Fun Run in her walker (gait trainer) this June. Blake usually has a smile on her face and a laugh that makes everyone who meets her fall in love with her. 

She is not the same person she was before the accident – I blame TV and sports for downplaying the severity of brain injuries and concussions. We have no definitive answers on what her future holds because the possibilities are endless. She’s young and neuroplasticity leaves no restrictions to how far she can go. Blake is a warrior who has had to face more obstacles by the age of five than most people experience in a lifetime. So we prepare for the worst and hope for the best as we attempt to give Blake everything she needs in life to succeed and be happy. Go Blake Go!

Lindsay Burdis,
Fabulous Mom of our cover kid, Blake


Questions? Comments? Contact us today!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

News Letter