Two LDS missionaries battle back from brain injuries

Published: Wednesday, April 18 2012 9:28 a.m. MDT

As Elder Johnson has continued to recover, his parents brought a full keyboard into his room.

"We thought he'd have to relearn it," Cherie said, "but he just sat down and started playing."

Elder Johnson quickly became known as "the music patient." When he's playing, the nurses will gather near his room, and other patients will stop what they're doing to listen. Cherie is convinced that Elder Johnson's music has been an important part of his rapidly progressing recovery. She is also convinced that he is going to be completely well again.

"We expect him to have a full recovery," she said. "We have felt that from the very beginning, and he is definitely on that path. We feel he is going to be completely well."

But to reach that point will take some time.

"Right now he doesn't have vision in his left eye – that is where he took the brunt of the hit," she said. "We are hopeful that will heal with time."

According to the doctors, it will require 6-12 months for Elder Johnson's brain to heal. Meanwhile, they feel he's ready to leave the hospital. He will be transferred to a nearby rehabilitation center as soon as there is an opening – probably sometime this week, Cherie said.

"We have been very blessed throughout this experience," she said. "The doctors and hospital staff have been amazing. We have had so much support from family members and friends. The mission and the ward here in Toronto have showered us with incredible love and support and tender care.

"We feel very, very blessed."

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