I didn't eat orally for 6 years after my injury. I was fed through a PEG tube in my stomach. My parents were told that I would never eat again. I can’t imagine their pain and anguish every time they sat down to a meal having to eat in front of me and having to explain to me that there were only two plates because I can’t eat (I often didn't remember that I couldn't eat).
The professional opinion even after 5 years post injury, was that I would never eat and my PEG tube would never come out. My sister was even approached by a health professional advising her to speak to our mum convincing her to drop the goal of helping me learn to eat again. Thank goodness my mother didn't listen and continued to advocate hard for my right to secure funding and support to try and learn to eat. We secured intensive funding and after a lot of hard work learning to sallow my own saliva, learning to chew, strengthening the muscles around my mouth and finally strengthening my tongue, I learnt to eat! This took many many months and at first I am told, it would take me a long time just to eat one piece of penne pasta. Slowly, I ate more and more food orally and was fed less and less through my PEG tube, until finally it was taken completely out!
Today I eat normally. I love my food! It gives me great pleasure to eat the foods I love and most importantly to share food with my family and friends.