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Driver Assessment Program

Fran Mooney

An avid golfer, Fran Mooney began his day like any other.  Excited to play a round at his favorite golf course, he grabbed his clubs, hopped in the cart and headed out to play 18 holes.  What he didn’t know, is that this was not going to be his best round.  While traveling to the next par 3, Fran’s cart hit a curb and he fell out, landing on the back of his head.   He was unconscious and rushed to the emergency room.

Fran sustained a traumatic brain injury or a TBI, and was in a coma for three weeks.  Upon waking from the coma, he was agitated and confused which was different from Fran’s high energy and fun personality. Once doctors stabilized his medical status, they put a plan in place.  He started rehabilitation immediately.  He needed to re-learn how to walk, eat, and do basic everyday tasks.  Fran was determined and pushed through rehab like he was Tiger Woods at the 2019 Masters tournament.  But there was one thing Fran hadn’t mastered yet. To gain full independence, he needed to be able to drive and not have to depend on his family for transportation.

Fran was referred to Easterseals Driver Assessment program and worked closely with Raechaell Corbett MS OTR/L CDRS.  Raechaell started this process with an clinical assessment on a driving simulator. It included checking his vision, cognition, and physical abilities as well as his reaction time- all skills needed to drive safely. Raechaell discovered that Fran required Occupational Therapy to address his visual scanning, visual attention, and overall cognitive processing speed to be able to participate in the behind the wheel assessment.  He returned to Easterseals for Occupational Therapy to address the functional skills he needed to work on and then participate in a behind the wheel assessment.  Unfortunately, this did not go as he had hoped.  Fran was very distracted and it was determined that he was not yet ready to drive.  While he was disappointed, that didn’t stop him.  Fran was advised to continue to work on his attention and was given activities to complete at home on his own to work on this skill.  After 3 months Fran was ready to try again.  This time he passed!  Fran was ready to drive safely and was the happiest he had been since before his accident.  Upon completion of the program, Fran said, “Easterseals Driver Assessment program was the last piece that I needed to fit in my puzzle.  I am grateful to Raechaell for her knowledge and patience with me during this process.  She helped me get my life back”.   Fran has returned to work, and is now able to drive on his own.  

Congratulations Fran, the comeback is always greater than the setback!

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