Bringing Families Together
We are told ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’ but for some families, Christmas will never be the same again. The devastation brain injury causes impacts heavily on the child themselves and has a knock-on effect on the whole family. Parents have to come to terms with what has happened and understand that their child’s future may not be what they had thought it would be. Siblings can feel side lined as parents may spend months in hospital whilst caring for their injured child. Throughout this traumatic time, one charity is there for families: the Child Brain Injury Trust, helping families deal with the impact of brain injury when there is nowhere else to turn to. We know what families will be going through and our support doesn’t stop when a child is discharged from hospital. In fact, that is where our journey with families often begins, helping them adjust at home, in school and in their communities.
This is certainly true for the Thomson family, from Aberdeen. Fifteen year old Megan was struck by a 4×4 vehicle in Aberdeen city centre in January 2015. The collision resulted in a serious brain injury requiring emergency surgery. Terrifyingly, after the accident, Megan awoke from a 24- hour coma to find she had lost the use of her legs as well as her memory and had no feeling in her right side. She spent the first two months of her recovery in hospital with a follow up surgery in June to put back part of her skull that was removed to reduce swelling in her brain.
Megan’s mum Lesley told us,
“I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown when Megan left hospital; I didn’t know where to go. We were all left confused and anxious as to what the outcome was going to be. I was put in touch with the Child Brain Injury Trust and one conversation with their support worker, Beth, resulted in me feeling more in control and understanding what was going on, and able to explain to others.”
“When Beth came to our house, she helped me understand everything and she helped me explain it all to Megan’s two little sisters. She’s been into the school as well and has been a great help.”
As well as visits to families in hospital or at home, our support workers are there for them at the end of the phone or online via their Facebook profiles. Our online group for parents and our free family days out also give the chance for families to share their own experiences and concerns with people who are going through similar circumstances, helping them to feel less alone. Our support workers empower parents to secure the support their child needs by attending meetings with them and providing easy to understand information materials on acquired brain injury that help parents fully understand their child’s injury and feel confident in explaining it to others.
After a child’s brain injury, families can face stress, financial worry and strained relationships. The Child Brain Injury Trust wants to be there for every family facing this, for as long as they need us, and you can help make sure we are by making a donation to our Christmas campaign today. We rely on donations to keep offering our vital services to UK families. Please help if you can.