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Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

From The Denver Post:
For 10 weeks, Matthew Keenan lay in a coma, the victim of a hospital error that plunged him into respiratory arrest and cut off oxygen to his brain. A judge appointed his mother to serve as guardian and conservator for her comatose 37-year-old son. Twice, his father called a priest to perform last rites. Then he awoke.

He had no idea where he was. He could move nothing but his eyelids. Then his fingers.

It was the start of a long, remarkable, some might say miraculous recovery. He learned to use his arms again, to sit up, to feed himself, to use a wheelchair, to regain a brain that survived a nearly fatal injury.

Yet when he rolled into a Boulder courthouse three years ago and petitioned to be free of his guardian, he ignited a legal battle that persists to this day.

The bank chosen to manage his money jumped into the case, allying itself with his guardian. Both billed him for the time they spent challenging him in court.

Although Keenan's guardian resigned months later, his conservator — Colorado State Bank and Trust — has charged almost $300,000 for litigation costs before and after a judge summarily replaced it.

Keenan, now 45 years old, came away from a crippling hospital experience with a settlement that provided about $2.6 million, money intended to last a lifetime. Now he is risking yet more of that estate in case he loses another round in court.

"I'm grieved," he said. "It's left my soul and my heart hardened to the process. I just can't believe I'm having to pay them to fight me."

Read more to see how Colorado State Bank and Trust's lawyers blame Keenan's brain-injured behavior, coupled with his lawyer's misunderstanding of probate law.

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