In 2011, while riding motorcycles in Idaho, Laura Nordfelt’s husband passed out on his motorcycle and crashed. She watched helplessly from her own bike. He suffered a severe brain injury (among other injuries) and was transferred by life flight to the hospital in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They spent 2 weeks in the ICU and then a couple of more weeks in a hospital in Salt Lake City for neuro rehab. Their marriage has been very different and not one that Laura was prepared for. With love, hard work and patience, they tackle their new life together!
As mothers, Laura feels we are naturally prepared to be caretakers. However, the thought of taking care of an adult TBI survivor long term was extremely hard on her. Early on, brain injury patients are surrounded by doctors and therapists working with them constantly, monitoring them and recording their every move and progress. Caregivers are left completely on their own to figure out their new lives and how to make it all work. In many ways, they are set up to fail with no guidelines, no manuals and no pats on the back.
In addition to running her own business, it’s been extremely important for Laura to continue her own personal healing and give back to the TBI community. She sits on the board of the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah and started a caregiver group in her area which has helped countless other caregivers as well as providing a source for Laura’s PTSD healing. Learning how to navigate a new life and also take care of yourself, as a caregiver is essential. Laura’s focus now is providing this awareness to brain injury caregivers.