Pennsylvania Man Returns to Work, Takes on Family Life After Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Adam Albaugh credits Shepherd Center for preparing him for life after brain injury.
On June 26, 2017, Adam Albaugh, 25, from Warren, Pennsylvania, was near the end of a month-long work assignment in Carson City, Nevada.
A quality engineer for a defense contractor, Adam went to dinner in nearby South Lake Tahoe, California, to celebrate with co-workers. He later had drinks and got separated from the group. He called his girlfriend, whom he had started dating that month, to pick him up nearby.
But two strangers assaulted Adam before she arrived. They dragged him down a road, and believing he was dead, hid his body. The assailants were never caught.
When EMTs arrived, Adam was non-responsive and given little chance of survival. Airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center, in Reno, Nevada, he remained in a coma for more than a week. He had sustained a severe brain injury and six skull fractures.
Adam transferred to Shepherd Center a month later. While memories of those early days remain foggy, Adam vividly recalls the empathy of Shepherd staff.
“They didn’t see me as just another customer, they saw me as a friend, as family,” he says. “They looked out for me.”
Adam spent about two months in Shepherd’s Inpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program and almost five months at Shepherd Pathways, the comprehensive outpatient program for people recovering from brain injury.
Then, in February 2018, less than eight months after his brutal attack, Adam returned to work. The woman he’d met in Nevada, now his fiancé, soon gave birth to their son, Ryland. They now live in a house Adam bought recently in York, Pennsylvania, where he works. Adam credits Shepherd Center for much of what he’s accomplished in so short a time.
“Shepherd Center helped prepare me for life after a brain injury, and essentially restarted my life,” he says. As for future wedding plans, while Adam and his fiancé haven’t finalized the year yet, they have picked a date – June 26. It’s the anniversary of Adam’s injury. “I want to take a tragic day and make some good out of it,” he says.
Written by Drew Jubera
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.