Londoners’ experiences of life-changing injuries

Marina

Female
Age at interview: 54

Brief outline: Marina's son Daniel (Interview 12) sustained a serious traumatic brain injury just over a year ago in 2011. Thankfully, Daniel survived and has made significant progress in his recovery. Marina looked after him during his recovery.

Background: Marina is married with two sons, aged 22 and 15. Daniel (Interview 12) is her older son. He had a traumatic brain injury just over a year before she was interviewed. Marina runs a cr'che. Ethnic background' White British.

Audio & video

Marina cared for her son Daniel (Interview 12) during his recovery from a serious traumatic brain injury sustained in a car accident. Marina, her husband, their younger son and Daniel’s girlfriend were told that each hour was critical in Daniel’s recovery. 
 
In the initial stages of his injury when he was in a coma, Marina spent a great deal of time in hospital or telephoning the ward when she was at home to make sure Daniel was ok. She said she hated it when the doctors came to speak to her because they never had any good news. Fortunately, Daniel made a good recovery, much better than expected of someone with his level of injury. Marina believes that having the television on in his room and having lots of visitors stimulated his brain and aided his recovery. 
 
Daniel was discharged to a rehabilitation unit for around three months where he had physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and neuropsychological assessments. When he returned home, one of Marina’s main roles was to make sure he was safe. He could be “disorientated” and unsure “where things were kept”. She explains that his balance was quite badly affected and he needed help in the shower. They got a rail fitted on the stairs and aids fitted in the shower to help him. As his mother and carer she feels “quite fortunate that for toileting he was able to manage himself. He was independent”. 
 
Marina also ensured that Daniel claimed the disability benefits that he was entitled to although neither she nor Daniel want him to have to stay on benefits for the rest of his life. Daniel is currently preparing himself to get back to work and is attending courses to improve his skills and CV. 
 
Marina feels “lucky enough that Daniel’s brain did recover”. When she saw patients in vegetative states she was reminded that “your whole life can be turned upside down”. She is very grateful for Daniel’s outcome and wanted to “thank God, the neurosurgeons, the doctors and the technology”.

 

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