Portrait: Charlotte

I suffered my brain injury not long after I was born. I was born 11 weeks prematurely and due to a traumatic birth, shortly after I suffered a bleed on the brain. It is said that bleeds on the brain and stroke are the leading causes of disability and in my case, this is what happened...

A little bit about Charlotte 

As a result of the bleed, I was left with permanent brain damage and a condition known as cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a condition that can affect movement and coordination. In my early life, the condition didn’t really impact me much, however, back in 2015, I started experiencing extreme pain.   

I was rushed into hospital where they did a brain scan and found that there is white matter on my brain that is damaging the nerves and signals my brain sends to the rest of my body. This means that although my condition is not life threatening, it will slowly deteriorate. Due to this slow deterioration, I am now unable to walk, I am a full-time wheelchair user and I have to rely on carers to carry out simple everyday tasks.  

Support I received 

Throughout the years, I received a lot of support from physical therapists, consultants, occupational therapists, carers and of course close family members. As well as this, as a child, I also received psychological help from numerous counseling services on the NHS. 

Shout out to my mum as I honestly don’t think I would have been able to get through any of this without her!

What I found was missing 

I found that as soon as I turned 18, much of the support stopped. It was almost like now that you’re an adult, your brain injury/disability doesn’t affect you anymore and the help you do get is extremely limited as there is no research out there! 


Of course, one can’t survive something like this without it having some kind of psychological impact. As a result of this, I now live with anxiety. It is believed by professionals that I have anxiety because I feel out of control in regards to my future, and that scares me. 

Breaking the silence on brain injury 

I feel my journey could have benefited from seeing more research and a better understanding from clinicians so I’m hoping that sharing my experience can help with this. 

Despite all this negativity, I try to see the positives in my situation.  I would like to personally thank Emilia and SameYou for speaking out and breaking the silence on brain injury; it has given me confidence to share my experience. 

Brain injury doesn’t discriminate by age so why should rehabilitation and support availability change when you are over 18? Charlotte’s story echoes how many young brain injury survivors struggle with the transition from "child" to "adult".  

At SameYou, our mission is to empower people like Charlotte and support them on their road to recovery, by creating better mental health pathways and rehabilitation programmes. This Stroke Awareness Month, understand the impact of stroke.

Learn more about stroke

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