Hinton woman continues remarkable recovery from traumatic brain injury

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HINTON, Va. (WHSV) - A Hinton woman is sharing her story as she continues on the path of recovery from a traumatic brain injury.

On May 2, 2022, Jessica Damico fell and hit her head in a workplace accident. She spent the next month in a coma, and now just two months later she is talking and walking on her own.

“That first week where all the brain pressure-related stuff was going on there were parts where they were unsure of Jessica making it through,” said Jason Damico, Jessica’s husband.

Jessica was taken to UVA Medical Center on May 2nd after her fall early that morning. Over the next month, she underwent several procedures while in a coma including a skull surgery and a procedure to remove infections in her head.

“It was strokes and possible seizures, and others. She had to learn to do everything over again, walk, talk, and eat,” said Jason.

Jessica remained at UVA for over a month and her condition was touch and go early on. Her husband said for a while her condition seemed to keep getting worse and it felt like one low point after another, but Jessica slowly began to improve and left the hospital on June 17, 2022.

“The last week or two that she was there, she was still unconscious, but she was doing a lot of hand and foot movement and then started to awaken,” said Jason.

After leaving UVA Medical Center Jessica was taken to the Sheltering Arms Institute Physical Rehabilitation Hospital in Richmond and things began to look up.

“It was kind of the complete opposite. You hit a high and then you hit another high. One day it was her walking with assistance in a machine or a harness, but she was walking, and it was just an amazing feeling,” said Jason.

Jessica made major progress in her time at Sheltering Arms. She said about a week or two after she arrived there, she began to slowly be able to walk and speak again.

“They are such an amazing rehab facility and now I’m still doing outpatient therapy,” said Jessica.

Jessica was able to return home on July 19 and has made major strides in her outpatient therapy since then.

“Her therapists have even said she’s come three times further in outpatient therapy than when she started just three weeks ago, so she’s progressing with leaps and bounds,” said Jason.

Jessica said that she and her family have been grateful for the support of their surrounding community in the months since her accident. They said their church community, Faith Community Church in Harrisonburg, has been especially helpful.

“The church has been amazing. There have been people at the church that have been able to give me rides and pick me up,” said Jessica.

Members of the church have also brought many meals for the family. Jason and Jessica have four sons, whom they said have also been especially helpful.

“They’re 9 to 13 currently, so they’re all very self-sufficient, and they’re great around here, asking to help where they can,” said Jason. “They make eggs,” added Jessica with a laugh.

Jessica’s doctors are impressed by her progress and are optimistic she will continue to greatly improve over time. As she continues to recover and be able to do more and more, Jessica has big plans for the future.

“I would love to run tough mudders and spartan races and I would really love to finish school,” she said.