Eddie's return to work story

Eddie Burgess, 64, from Burnley, suffered a stroke last year. He works with adults with learning difficulties, mental health issues and those with challenging behaviours.

Eddie enjoys his job but has been told after an independent assessment that he is not able to return to work for the moment.

“With my job, you definitely need to be attentive. You need to be alert. You need to be able to respond quickly if needed and you need a good memory. You also have to be physically fast sometimes. For my job, I need to be well.

 “Before the stroke I had a brilliant memory, I could remember dates and it was like a set of drawers in my head. I could just open the drawer and I'd know where all the information was. Now, it's not like that. It slips, you know. The drawers are broken, let's put it that way.

 “A nurse was appointed from an outside agency to do an assessment. They decided that I'm not fit for work at the moment, but they can't decide when I will be fit for work. The nurse said from her experience, that she expected that the organisation I work for will want her to give a date, but she couldn't do that. She said recovering after a brain injury isn’t straight forward.

 “I'm not 100%. Your world changes in a moment, you can’t just suddenly go back.

I've got a really good manager and she's mentioned a phased return. They said, just come back when you're ready. You know, that kind of support.

 “But I also feel pressure. I think it's my own pressure, really. I'm worried about finances. But then I'm a worrier, a constant worrier. But it's having that financial back up to be able to go back into work knowing that you have support if anything goes wrong. There’s no clear information out there.

I've been fighting, scrambling about the internet, trying to find out what I can do. 

 “I am close to retirement. I'm only a year and a half away. But before I had the stroke, I didn't want to retire.

I enjoy work, as much as you can. 

When I first went there, I drove into the complex and I thought I want to work here, before I had even spoken with anyone.

I've worked in care for over 30 years and I've done all aspects of care. So, it's part of my life now. It's not just a job.”


Eddie’s story provides an insight into the challenges of returning to work after a brain injury. The SameYou-Big Issue survey carried out in May 2024 and completed by more than 300 respondents, revealed that a third struggled with work after their brain injury.

Find out more about the survey results

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