Senior Spotlight: Brookville graduate overcame brain injury to complete senior year

Isaac Booth, graduate of Brookville High School, suffered a severe brain injury last September. He missed an entire quarter of school, but was still able to graduate with honors. Eileen McClory / Staff

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Isaac Booth, graduate of Brookville High School, suffered a severe brain injury last September. He missed an entire quarter of school, but was still able to graduate with honors. Eileen McClory / Staff

Last September, Brookville graduate Isaac Booth developed a horrible headache. His mom, Jessica Booth, initially thought it was a migraine. But when Isaac started to vomit and was slurring his words, his parents rushed him to the hospital.

“There was a factor of disbelief, I think,” Isaac Booth said. “I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t want to say it out loud.”

He had a brain hemorrhage and ended up in the intensive care unit for a week. He lost the ability to walk, couldn’t see for more than a few feet and missed almost all the second quarter of his senior year. He was 17.

Recovery took time. There were physical therapy appointments, mental health treatments and many doctor’s appointments.

“Going from a fully competent young adult with a plan for the future to someone who needed help with very basic human tasks was heartbreaking,” Jessica said.

It was something he needed help coming to terms with, she said, and a therapist was able to give him tools to cope.

Jessica Booth said the Brookville community was very supportive. Friends helped watch the Booth’s other four younger siblings so Isaac’s dad, Adam Booth, could switch off with Jessica at the hospital.

Brookville schools didn’t count the missed quarter against Isaac, and worked with him to do online schooling so he could finish the first semester of school without needing to come in. Isaac was on track to be among the valedictorians at Brookville High School before he got sick, and the district worked with him so that he wouldn’t lose that status, Jessica said.

Once he was out of the hospital, Isaac’s friends came over and played board games with him, something they’d done frequently before he got sick.

Isaac has since made an almost complete recovery. But he still plans to take a year off to continue healing and attend college the year after. He wants to study computer science and maybe develop video games one day.

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