Lifestyle

Traumatic brain injuries: Terry Home to open Auburn rehab facility

Terry Norman and his mother, Mary Norman, participate in a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 29 for Terry Home of Auburn. The non-profit organization is opening a second rehabilitation facility for young adults with traumatic brain injuries.  - Andy Hobbs/The Mirror
Terry Norman and his mother, Mary Norman, participate in a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 29 for Terry Home of Auburn. The non-profit organization is opening a second rehabilitation facility for young adults with traumatic brain injuries.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/The Mirror

Nearly 28 years ago, Terry Norman was sleeping in the backseat of a friend’s car on the way home from Flaming Geyser State Park. The driver lost control on a curve on Green Valley Road, and the car slammed into a tree. Terry’s head was positioned at the point of impact.

“If he had been laying the other way, he would have had a broken foot,” said his mother, Mary Norman.

Terry was in a coma for three months after the crash. At age 18, traumatic brain injuries left him wheelchair-bound and needing round-the-clock care for life.

After insurance money ran out, Mary Norman began searching for an appropriate place for her son to live. Not wanting to put him in a geriatric facility, she embarked on a years-long fundraising journey that finally resulted in Terry Home.

Opened in 1996, the rehabilitation facility in Pacific was named after Terry Norman, the home’s first resident. He still lives there, along with nine other residents.

About 25 young adults have lived in the 4,300-square-foot Terry Home during the past 15 years, and 10 have graduated to more independent living arrangements.

With the 24-hour care at Terry Home, residents learn vital daily living skills such as social interaction, home maintenance and cooking. They undergo cognitive therapy and attend recreational events such as movies and picnics.

On Sept. 29, Terry Home board members officially broke ground on a second facility in Auburn. The future 5,300-square-foot home, located at 727 A St. NE, is expected to be finished by June 2012. Mary Norman’s sister, Myla Montgomery of Federal Way, is on the Terry Home board of directors and is  a primary manager for the non-profit organization. She said the new home will house 12 residents, with four of those spots reserved for military veterans.

“It becomes a real strain on family and friends,” Montgomery said about the struggle to care for young adults with severe brain injuries. “Our waiting list is at 25, and some people have been on the list for five years.”

Oct. 22 fundraiser

Terry Home depends heavily on fundraising, along with county and state grants. The new facility will also need furnishings and landscaping donations. A dinner/auction fundraiser to benefit Terry Home will begin at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at Emerald Downs in Auburn with the theme “Building More Hope.” To learn more, call (253) 815-8633 or visit www.terryhomeinc.org.

 

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