6-Year-Old Wakes From Coma With a Whole New Personality

Zoe Rain BernsteinEver have one of those days when your kid is annoying the pants off of you, and you wonder who made off with your sweet child and left this pain in the butt in her place? Sometimes it seems like their personalities change overnight. And for Zoe Rain Bernstein, that is almost literally what happened ... with a little help from a car accident.

The 6-year-old was in a booster seat when her dad crashed his truck, but she bore the brunt of the accident. When Zoe woke up from a month-long coma, her mom Kelsie said she was a different person. Her personality had changed completely.

Just think about this for a second. Your child is there in front of you, looking like herself, sounding like herself, but she is not the same person. I really have to hand it to Zoe's mom for her positive attitude through all of this -- she talked to Patch about how her daughter is a miracle, and she's working hard (despite a mountain of medical bills) to do everything she can for her daughter. The plan is to get Zoe back to elementary school this fall.

It's one of those shocking stories that really makes you step back and say, "gee, maybe I don't have it so bad." At least the phases that kids go through will end in our household ... at least until another one starts up. 

Zoe suffered head trauma, and she had to relearn a bulk of the basic skills she'd developed as a toddler -- from talking to using the bathroom. Even now that she's out of the hospital and functioning more like her peers, Zoe has attention deficit disorder and behavior issues that didn't exist before the accident, and there's no sign that they'll go away.

It's something to think about the next time you're struggling through one of those phases that last for weeks and sometimes months with your kid, even with the experts telling you that "this too shall pass."

It's a relief to hear your kid is being a "normal" kid, but let me tell you, there's a piece of me that is sometimes a bit disappointed that there isn't something "wrong" that they can just fix! But you plug away. You keep your discipline consistent. And then, like that it seems, they realize you aren't going to stop disciplining her for her bad behavior. The happy, cooperative kid comes back ... eventually.

Zoe's family still needs a lot of help in her recovery -- donations are being accepted for her huge medical bills at Love Zoe Rain.

Does your kid have days when their personality is completely different? How do you deal?


Image via Love Zoe Rain Donation Site

behavior, family


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butte... butterflyfreak

Damn McEvil, what did you have to eat?

Todd Vrancic

Of course she has behavior issues now, she had massive brain injuries!  I hope, though, that her parents will discipline her with love and understanding but do not let her get away with tantrums, etc.  It will be tougher for the family, but it can be done.

Heather Duso Johnson

I am trying very, very hard not to be judgmental here.  Most people do have some sort of personality change after a severe brain injury.  I did and so have anyone else I've ever met.  She's young enought that her brain will be able to re-wire itself to compesate for the injured parts and it sounds like she'll be able to need a regular life eventually.  I would bet some of the behavior issues are more to do with how frustrated she is at herself but doesn't know how to express that any other way.  I know that feeling very well.  


I used to feel really bad when my boys got sick and weren't "themselves" and this is so much worse. My best thoughts are with this family and thank god that's all that's wrong with this little girl.

SoJaided SoJaided

My fiancée had a Traumatic Brain Injury in 2009 and luckily has recovered quite well, though there are definitely aspects of his personality that completely different he has learned to live with them and even like the person he is now better.

Barbara Yelekli

My friend's husband also had a traumatic brain injury from an accident. The doctors warned her that he might have personality changes after, and unfortunately, he did. In his case, he became violent and they eventually divorced.

jodie... jodieharp

I very much hope they do not try to treat any attention defecit like it is a problem and learn to work with their child to find an easy way for her to cope.  I have ADHD that wasn't officially diagnosed until adulthood but I could never imagine going through the medication and all of that as a child.  If anything she's just going to be a more curious and outgoing little girl with a little harder time sitting still.

MamaD... MamaDee83

Ok, so, their little girl is ALIVE! You can work on most behavioral problems, but you can't work on DEATH. They should be thankful that their baby lived and they at least have the opportunity to raise her instead of her dying in the crash!

aReal... aRealteenMother

MamaDee, they are happy, I'm sure. It's just news. It's not like they're complaining. I'm sure it's tough to deal with, though.

Kitwench Ferret

This isn't really news - it's pretty much what happens to some degree with any brain injury.

I feel for the parents, but more so for the kid because while her injuries will cause her behavior to in part to resemble the major symptoms of ADHD, the treatments and meds for that won't help her at all.

And despite the cheery claims of "Well, she's young and her brain will rewire and she'll be fine" ? No, she most likely will struggle with these issues for most of her adult life.

Remember when they used to tell us that you outgrow ADHD?

Yeah - nope. Doesn't work that way.

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