Londoners’ experiences of life-changing injuries

Bridget

Female
Age at interview: 56

Brief outline: Bridget sustained a traumatic brain injury twenty-one years ago in a car accident. She was travelling with her partner who sadly died in the accident.

Background: Bridget lives with her partner. Before her injury she worked as a personnel manager and now volunteers at Headway, the brain injury charity. Ethnic background' White/British.

Audio & video

Bridget was in a happy relationship with her partner at the time of her injury. He was killed in the car accident in which she sustained a traumatic brain injury. When she regained consciousness, she did not realise her partner had been killed. Her father had to tell her soon after, which he found one of the hardest things he had ever had to do.
 
As a result of her injury, Bridget has memory problems and her brain does not process the information taken in by her left eye. Bridget received rehabilitation from psychologists for her memory, from physiotherapists for her physical problems and from an occupational therapist to help her with daily living skills. She describes the occupational therapy as insulting because it covered things she knew how to do, such as making tea and cleaning her house. 
 
She keeps notes in a diary to help her remember both things she has done and things she has to do. She also has other tricks to help her memory. For instance, if she meets someone, she associates their name with something familiar in order to remember it. When she is travelling to new places, she looks for landmarks she can remember to help her find her way back. 
 
When she felt sufficiently recovered, Bridget decided she would go back to work, but her memory problems prevented her from pursuing her career and she had to stop working. Luckily she had bought insurance before her injury and so is financially stable at present. She is planning for her future by saving and making financial investments. She now volunteers at Headway, the brain injury charity, and chairs one of its support groups. 
 
Bridget met her current partner on a dating website. She encourages others to use online dating to meet people, but reminds them to make their safety their priority.

 

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