Londoners’ experiences of life-changing injuries

Raymond

Male
Age at interview: 44

Brief outline: Raymond works as a product development scientist for a large company. He is married and has one daughter who is 8 years old. His ethnic background is White Irish.

Background: Raymond works as a product development scientist for a large company. He is married and has one daughter who is 8 years old. His ethnic background is White Irish.

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Fourteen years ago, Raymond was travelling in France on his motorbike with his wife on the back and was involved in a collision. His wife was uninjured, but he had a broken leg and was kept in hospital overnight. 
 
The next morning his wife became concerned when he wasn’t making much sense talking to her, so she alerted the staff. It was later discovered that a fat embolism had travelled to his brain and had caused damage. 
 
After five months in hospital in France, Raymond was flown by air ambulance back to hospital in England. He said, “I’d lost all my all my speech. I’d lost all my words. I couldn’t write, couldn’t read, couldn’t talk and I certainly couldn’t walk”. 
 
His wife found a rehabilitation hospital for him to go to. Whilst he can’t remember all the details of his rehabilitation, he described it as the most challenging time, especially as his self-confidence had taken a huge hit. He realised he was a different person than before. Even so, he was driven to recover as best he could. 
 
Raymond was able to return to work. He was ashamed of disclosure and initially tried to hide the effects of his brain injury from his employers. However, he now thinks it would have been better if he had been open about his injury. 
 
When he told his employers about his problems they were very supportive and arranged an appointment with a clinical neuropsychologist, a specialist in brain injury. The psychologist was able assess how Raymond’s brain injury had affected him and what it meant for his daily life. 
 
In work, Raymond finds it difficult to concentrate when other people are around. He copes with this by going to the office early. He says he uses his iPhone to help him remember things he might otherwise forget. This allows him to feel prepared and in control.
 
For Raymond exercise is a complete stress relief. It allows him to use the time to think about other aspects of work and life.
 
Raymond has been seeing a neuropsychiatrist (a specialist in mental health after brain injury) to help him understand what happened to him mentally using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). CBT is a technique that enables him to work around stress points, like over-thinking things that are not really important.
 
Raymond’s daughter was born since his injury. He says they have a great relationship and that having her was the most wonderful thing of all. 

 

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