Life After a Traumatic Brain Injury: Healing Your Whole Self

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Posted by Tim Semelroth

Image of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Bridgid Ruden and Tim Semelroth

In 2008, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Bridgid Ruden suffered severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a bicycle crash on an unsafe trail in Coralville.  After four complex brain surgeries to address numerous complications, Bridgid miraculously returned to life following her coma.  She required physical, occupational, cognitive, emotional, and speech therapy.

Attorney Tim Semelroth congratulates Bridgid after her recent speech in North Liberty.

Today, Bridgid continues to struggle with epilepsy, PTSD, memory loss, fatigue, balance issues, vertigo and aphasia (a language disorder that affects speaking and writing), yet has come further than most health care professionals expected she would.  RSH Legal was proud to represent her in a personal injury lawsuit.

Although Bridgid had to leave her career as a nurse practitioner behind, she has become a national and international motivational speaker, appeared on TV and radio, and is a published author.

Here are some different ways Bridgid continues her healing:

Healing Your Body:

  • Eats foods rich in nutrients and fatty acids, like salmon and leafy green vegetables.
  • Exercises four times a week, including walking, jogging, biking and weight lifting.
  • Maintains chiropractic and massage care monthly.
  • Receives acupuncture and Reiki therapy as needed.

Healing Your Mind & Soul

  • Wrote her book not only to tell her story, but to create emotional healing, improve her development process, and enhance her memory.
  • Giving motivational talks improves talking skills, enhances self-worth, and inspires others.
  • Art therapy helps the brain to heal from mental, emotional, and physiological impacts.
  • Utilizes holistic healing to heal emotional tension, strengthen the immune system, and resolve stress overload and pain.
  • Music and dance is used to reduce anxiety, depression, and physical impacts of stress.
  • Volunteers at the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa and University of Iowa Pediatric Hospital.
  • Attends support groups and conferences for validation and education.

If you would like to learn more about Bridgid’s story, you can purchase her book at or schedule a time for her to present by emailing or calling 319-430-4966.

If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury, you are not alone.  Contact the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa for more information.

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