It has been a tough year for a lot of families. Some are still dealing with pandemic stresses, and many are still feeling the financial pinch of inflation.
But for Scott Cannon, 2022 has been particularly difficult as he has battled the aforementioned, while also battling for his life.
In December, he was admitted to North Suburban Medical Center in Thornton, Colorado with a traumatic brain injury. He does not remember how it happened, but it put this once active, outdoorsy father and information technician in a coma until he woke up in February, unable to speak well and unable to recall much.
“It was very scary,” he said. “I remember a bunch of other people were like, 'Scott’s back! We were not sure if you were going to come back or not,' because I was out of it.”
“He had very severe head injuries and they actually had to remove part of his skull,” said Amanda Morian, an occupational therapist at the hospital who was tasked with helping Scott redevelop his speech and motor function.
At first, it was slow and frustrating. Cannon could not walk well, and he had trouble formulating his thoughts into words, but knowing his background in IT, Morian reached out to the hospital’s senior technical analyst, Darien Huffman, and they decided to give Cannon a computer infected with viruses to see what he could do with it to spur his growth. Suddenly, Cannon started making strides where has was previously stymied.
“It’s a familiar task so it’s kind of already set up in the brain’s pathways to make it a little bit easier for healing,” explained Morian.
“It was really challenging because I had to figure out what I’m trying to say and then figure out how to fix it,” said Cannon. “It was really nice because when I was actually in a job it was the same kind of thing. Like, 'OK, figure it out, Scott. Let’s go. We don’t know exactly what’s going on, so you got to fix it.'”
Cannon still has some speech difficulties as he struggles to find certain words, but for the most part, he is leagues above where he was only a few months ago.
He was released from the hospital in May and moved to a recovery center where he receives help, but he still returns to North Suburban Medical Center weekly to volunteer and do for other patients what the staff did for him.
“I’m needed,” he said. “And it’s really a good thing because it doesn’t matter if I’m putting in gloves. Just doing that it’s like I have a purpose now.”