Neuropsychologist Dr Katherine Dawson writes about what she sees as the cornerstone of rehabilitation by supporting brain injury survivors and their families to establish hope and trust in a future when you don’t yet know what that future holds.
All Shared Experiences
Chéri Ballinger, former model/actress and now film producer and entrepreneur, suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury in 2014 after a fall onto cement in an action scene on the set. Since her TBI on that day, her life has never been the same. Chéri’s four-year recovery was full of challenges related to having female-specific symptoms that threw her doctors off.
When I had two strokes while working in a high-powered job, it stunned everyone who knew me. It was unexpected. I was very fit; swimming outdoors all year, cycling more than 10 hours a week, and a regular gym-goer. I was a scuba diving instructor in my spare time and didn’t imagine that I would be hit by strokes.
Tamsyn Wood, mum of 4 and carer to her husband Alex, who suffered a severe traumatic brain injury during a rugby training session, describes the recovery pathway as being 'so complicated, navigating a system that you have no idea about until something like this happens to you - then, riddled with grief and trauma, you have to somehow keep it together enough to manage the fall out, with an unfriendly, unyielding system that seems to be in place only for the financially abled to benefit from.'
She hopes that by speaking out about her experience of wife to carer it may resonate with someone out there feeling just as lonely, fraught and frustrated with the care world as she is.