Kelly shares her experience of acquired brain injury after her son, Luke, was hit by a car just before Christmas last year.
Our son Luke acquired his brain injury just before Christmas last year. Luke was knocked down by a car when he was crossing the street near our home. He was with his older sister, Chelsea, at the time.
To say we were devastated was an understatement, at first we were told that he may not survive. He was in intensive care for a week and put in to a medically induced coma. His dad couldn’t even speak to him for the first couple of days; every time he tried he couldn’t get any words out and just cry.
When it came time to wake him up from his medically induced coma, we were told by the doctor that they didn’t know how badly his brain had been damaged.
On Christmas day, imagine the elation we felt when the nurse asked him how old he was and he put his 2 hands up to sign he was 10. It was the best Christmas present ever we could have ever received.
This is when the hard work started. Luke started going back to school 2 weeks later, although for only 2 hours a day to start with. He experienced headaches, fatigue and somehow we just knew he wasn’t the same as before. Something had changed; he would get up during the night. He was frightened and didn’t know why. He started wetting the bed. He had headaches and his behaviour went from being the polite well mannered boy we knew to an angry short tempered, and sometimes, violent wee boy.
The impact on the rest of the family was also visible. His sister’s schoolwork suffered; her results weren’t as good as before and his brothers were tired at school because they were being disturbed at night.
Then Luke’s neurology nurse suggested we give the Child Brain Injury Trust a call. This was when we met Beth. She gave us leaflets and took time to explain giving us a real sense of understanding of how the brain works and why Luke does the things that he does.
The Child Brain Injury Trust have been in to Luke’s school and presented to the teachers on what to look for, not just in Luke but in any child with a brain injury. We have also attended their family event at the safari park where we could meet other families who are experiencing the same thing as us. Luke has even got involved with fundraising for the Charity – raising £100 from a recent Welly Walk we did.
I would advice other families to remember to be patient because it does take a long time to recover and there will be hurdles along the journey but there are people out there who can help.