Brian's Story

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Brian's story is one of a number of personal stories which people have shared as part of the "We Need Our Heads Examined" campaign for rehabilitation services.

Download the campaign leaflet here

 

I was born in Limerick in 1977 and grew up in the Rossbrien area with three older sisters and two younger twin brothers.

I moved to Nottingham to work as a Quantity Surveyor. The city provided me with a great life, both work and play. One fateful night in July 2009, when I was only 32 years old, my life was turned upside down and changed forever. I had been out socialising in Nottingham and been to a club, as we normally would. A guy tried to befriend the group I was in and when they were heading back to my house, this guy asked if he could join us. At the request of one of the girls, I said no. At this point the guy pulled me and punched me hard in the face. I fell and hit the right side of my head.

I was taken to hospital and the doctors found I had suffered bruising and bleeding in the brain and a fractured skull resulting from the fall. I remained in a coma for a few months. For about a month, after coming out of the coma, I couldn't speak; I also discovered at this time that I had become blind. I began responding first by moving my fingers, then toes; and then my eyes would flicker. As a result of the assault I suffered left sided hemiplegia and hemianasthesia, meaning I have reduced mobility and use of the left hand side of my body and I am confined to a wheelchair.

After being released from Linton Lodge in Nottingham after a long period of rehabilitation, my family got me a place in a nursing home close to home in Bruree, in Co. Limerick. I spent a while there but felt that the facility did not meet my rehabilitation needs. My family looked for alternatives and in 2011 I joined Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, a neuro-rehabilitation residential service with 3 other clients in Clarecastle, Co. Clare. I still reside here, and it is a place that very much meets my social, recreational and educational needs along with my continued rehabilitation work.

It has been six years since I acquired my brain injury and its definitely been a challenging time. However, I am very determined and today I attend Headway three times a week and have completed the vocational programme there. I give talks to schools, community groups and other interested parties about my story, to educate about the dangers of what can happen on a nught out. I go to the gym, swimming and take part in physio with the goal of trying to improve my walk. I can walk with a tripod around my home with the guidance of staff but I hope to become more independent in this in the future.

You can watch a video about Brian's experience here

 
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