Home OFFICIAL PARTNER COLUMNISTS The Disabilities Trust: Becky’s brain surgery story

The Disabilities Trust: Becky’s brain surgery story

At The Disabilities Trust people are at the heart of everything we do. We provide specialist community-based and residential support for adults with acquired brain injury, complex physical or learning disabilities and people with autism.

Our brain injury services across the country provide the best quality rehabilitation for adults with complex and challenging needs after brain injury. Ultimately, we want to enable our service users to participate in life as fully as possible and to enjoy as much independence as they can.

Becky

One such individual on their journey to independence is 27-year-old Becky from Birmingham, who sustained a brain injury in 2013 after suffering a haemorrhage caused by complications from a surgery to treat hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain).

Following Becky’s brain injury, she spent six months in hospital before transferring to our brain injury service in Birmingham, West Heath House, for rehabilitation in 2014. When Becky moved in she was assessed by the service’s team so they could work to create a personalised therapy approach specifically for her. Becky displayed challenging and socially inappropriate behaviour, meaning she was at risk of harming herself and others. She struggled to manage and regulate her emotions, experiencing anxiety and low self-esteem. She also relied on a wheelchair when going into the community for anything longer than a short trip.

Initially, Becky required one to one support to reduce the risk of her harming herself, and with input from the support staff and the clinical team, Becky began her rehabilitation, involving physiotherapy, occupational therapy and working with the clinical psychologist. Aspects of her therapies included practising relaxation techniques, learning to manage money, and working on her bodily strength and balance. Becky gained an understanding of the impact of her brain injury and worked on strategies to cope with her difficulties.

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In collaboration with the staff, Becky developed meaningful goals, such as to begin attending college, allowing her to tangibly work towards independence.

Since admission, Becky has progressed from needing one to one support to living on her own in an on-site flat, where she can cook without supervision. She can walk unaided in the community and enjoys going out independently, as well as with friends for activities and socialising.

Becky has surpassed her goals and is now in her third year of college and will soon be moving to a nearby supported living flat.

Becky said:

“Being at West Heath House has helped to get me back to more like the old me. I feel I have been on a journey and look at life differently. I can see the future and that’s good. It has opened my eyes up to how people see brain injuries, some not as noticeable but still there.”