My 21 year-old cousin just broke his neck, I want to visit him.

Visiting a newly injured person.Q: My 21 year-old cousin just broke his neck during a motorcycle accident. He’s still in the hospital, but they are saying he will be paralyzed for the rest of his life. I want to visit him, but I have no idea what to say!

A: While your cousin’s life has certainly changed drastically with this injury, remember he is still the same person he was before his accident. In the months ahead, find things besides the accident to talk about and be prepared to simply listen when needed. Take a look at “What to Say or Do for your Friend in the Hospital.” Also, consider reading, and perhaps sharing, Joni’s autobiography, Joni. You may find it helpful to hear some tips from Joni’s mother, speaking from her own experience in the days following Joni’s injury.

Be consistent in your friendship. Look for ways to serve your cousin’s family while he is in rehabilitation. Remember that your cousin and his family will continue to need support in the months and years to come. Learn more about how you can help through the booklets “Disability: When it First Touches Your Family” and “Christianity with its Sleeves Rolled Up.”