Some of the stories shown here are told from the point of view of those living with the effects of a brain injury. Other stories are told by the family, friends and loved ones.
Paul & Liz
Liz cares for her husband Paul full time after he had an operation for an aneurysm. She recently attended her first Lady Carers Weekend.
Paul had an undiagnosed and unstable aneurysm which was leaking. It was in a difficult place for the operation and he suffered hydrocephalus which probably cause most of his disabilities.
I was initially worried about attending my first Lady Carers Weekend. I had my own room which made me feel comfortable and relaxed while I was away. I also laughed a lot. I realised that I hadn't felt like that in a long time.
I will come to the next one and I am glad you all at The BIG Group supported me in taking that first step.
I was worried about coming on the weekend. You were all very kind and it meant a lot...
Karen & Ian
Karen has been diagnosed with brain damage after an operation on her sinuses and suffering from a rare form of meningitis. Since learning about the BIG Group both Karen and Ian have enjoyed coming to the BIG events boosting confidence in socialising.
Karen's heath deteriorated after a sinus operation 10 years ago. She was diagnosed after 2 years of assessments and scans as having brain damage. It was as a result of a rare form of meningitis probably caused by or related to her sinus operation and a subsequent infection.
As a family we were very isolated and not made aware of any supports. We decided to make family arrangements to ensure that Karen got the care she required. I arranged with my work to take on a 4 day on/4 day off rota. Both our daughters also arranged their working hours to ensure that care was always available for Karen. Karen's physical health improved but her care requirements and her lack of confidence to go out and meet people meant that there were severe restrictions on family life and continuing isolation.
I first heard about BIG group when attending the Head Injury Information Day in 2015. We are now regular attendees at BIG events and both Karen and I thoroughly enjoy them. We are comfortable in the company of others who have had similar experiences able to talk, laugh and share. Karen's confidence has been hugely boosted.
I am now a BIG committee member. Learning about and getting involved with BIG Group has been like a door opening. I wish I had known about BIG Group years ago!
Getting involved with the BIG Group has been like a door opening.
Phillip has a long standing Brain Injury. Having returned to employment he was made redundant in September 2015.
On 28th September 2015 having been made redundant from my last job I came back to Momentum as a client. It has been excellent for teaching me about some of the common side effects of brain injury, as well as strategies for coping with this not just in the workplace but my whole life. In addition, Momentum has been useful in helping me to update my CV, draft covering letters as well as doing battle with online application forms!
On 5th November I commenced a placement at Harran Ltd as QHSE Administrator. I have been involved in typing up risk assessments and COSHH assessments - this will give me some valuable work experience which will help me get a job.
Another life under reconstruction - nice one Momentum!
Alan suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage in November 2005 while working 1000 miles north of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He was flown to hospital in Edmonton where he was in a coma for over 5 weeks. On discharge from hospital Alan returned to Fort Nelson but resources were very limited and there were no specific Brain Injury services to allow any substantial rehabilitation. In May 2007 Alan's brother Ian had to go to Canada to repatriate him after reports of a lack of care and mismanagement of his finances.
On return to the UK Alan attended Momentum where the Pathways program was a great help in kick starting his delayed rehabilitation. Alan along with this brother Ian became actively involved. Now over 10 years on from his Acquired Brain Injury Alan is living in his own flat, with support. Routine is very important in allowing Allan to live as independently as he can. He is very accepting of new placements for each day of the working week.
Always smiling Alan attends almost all of the BIG Group events. Despite the challenges that life has presented him with Alan has a very positive outlook on life.
Brother Ian is the current convenor of BIG Group.
Despite the challenges that life has presented him with Alan has a very positive outlook on life.