As he did most every day, Ron Kraft walked out to get the newspaper from his driveway one chilly winter morning. Unaware that a layer of black ice had formed overnight, Ron's routine quickly turned deadly with a nearly fatal fall. With no independent recollection of events, he was told that he was rushed to a 24 hour trauma center where doctors said he would not live through the night. Blood was building in his brain cavity, pushing his brain to the side. His family was told that if he didn't have surgery, he would die. If he did, he might live and he might not. Luckily, the 68 year-old lawyer lived and awoke approximately three weeks later in Chicago, where his medical rehabilitation journey would begin.
It was a slow journey - one month of inpatient rehab at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where his therapists would wake him up each morning to walk around the halls and work on coordination activities. The next month, he came to the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City to work on further recovery, including the subtle deficits of traumatic brain injury - his ability to provide speeches and presentations as a lawyer specializing in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law.
Ron explained that one of the hardest parts of his journey was not being able to drive prior to receiving an assessment through RIKC's Driving Program. "Being able to drive again was very important to me because my wife had to chauffer me around town," he remembered. Ron attributes his excellent medical care and his own personal urgency to return to work as top reasons his recovery was all the more remarkable. "I wasn't ready to walk away and rot sitting in a chair," he explained. He had a lot to get back to as the owner of a title company, a law firm, and clients to serve - not to mention time to enjoy with his wife, children and grandchildren. After participating in medical rehabilitation and driving services at RIKC, Ron was back to work and driving on his own.