Londoners’ experiences of life-changing injuries

Brian

Male
Age at interview: 50

Brief outline: Brian sustained a traumatic brain injury 17 years ago when he was 33. He has no memory of the injury, but has been told a police officer found him lying injured in the street after being assaulted.

Background: Brian is single, lives alone and has a twenty-three year old daughter. He used to work as a train driver, but now volunteers at a day care centre for disabled people. Ethnic background' White Irish.

Audio & video

<div>After being assaulted, Brian was found lying in the street by a police officer. He had emergency surgery to remove a clot from his brain and spent about six weeks in a coma. His family were initially told that he was not expected to live, but Brian &ldquo;fought back&rdquo; and survived.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Following his injury, Brian had to learn to walk and talk again. He can only walk short distances now and mostly uses a wheelchair. Sometimes he is also unable to see objects that are on his right hand side. He describes this as &ldquo;You sort of don&rsquo;t notice some things that you should notice&rdquo;. He thinks this is partly to do with forgetting that they are there.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The men who assaulted Brian were convicted and he received compensation, which was organised by his parents and solicitors. His parents managed his finances, until they got older and Brian gave Power of Attorney to the Social Services. This means that financially &ldquo;everything is taken care of&rdquo; for Brian.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Since his injury, Brian has had a couple of relationships. He says it&rsquo;s important to &ldquo;make sure you&rsquo;re ready for a romance or a relationship&rdquo;, and wanted to reassure newly injured people that relationships were possible after life-changing injuries.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Brian was unable to return to work as a train driver but was &ldquo;over the moon&rdquo; when his former work colleagues bought him an electric wheelchair. He now volunteers at a day centre, supporting other disabled people. Whilst he feels he has changed a lot since his injury, he says his outlook on life now is more positive. He wants other survivors of brain injury to think positive and &ldquo;keep yourself active in your mind&rdquo;.</div> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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