Londoners’ experiences of life-changing injuries


Age at interview: 42

Brief outline: Ed was cycling work when he sustained a traumatic brain injury. There were no witnesses or CCTV footage and he does not remember what happened. Since his injury, he has experienced fatigue, irritability and can be sensitive to noise.

Background: Ed is married and has a son who is five years old. He works as a business manager for a large bank. Ethnic background' White/Other (Jewish).

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Ed was interviewed four months after the cycling accident that caused his traumatic brain injury. He is unsure how the accident happened because he does not remember it. He hit his head and “shattered” his cheekbone. The severity of his head injury was assessed at the scene using the Glasgow Coma Scale (a scale measuring people’s responsiveness after they’ve had a brain injury), on which he was given “full marks” despite appearing “as mad as a fish and talking a complete load of baloney”. He was taken straight to hospital for an operation on his cheekbone.
Ed has been looked after and helped by numerous health professionals' a facial surgeon, a neurologist, an eye specialist, a cranio-osteopath, a neuropsychologist and a cardiologist in case his accident had been caused by a heart attack, which it was not. He was able to access appointments with these professionals largely because he had private health insurance. 
Ed tried to return to work after his injury, but describes exhausting himself, becoming irritable and, because he needed to sleep a lot, missing out on seeing his son. At his wife’s insistence, he was signed off work for six months. He hopes to make a gradual return in stages. 
Ed’s injury has changed the way he looks at his life. Before, he spent a lot of time at work, stressed. Now, he is aiming to “have a more balanced life” to include “home, work, community”. He wants to dedicate some of his time to helping others. 



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