Brain Injury Awareness Enniskillen Area
LIFE AFTER A BRAIN INJURY
Since I received my brain injury daily tasks such as dressing and cooking and cleaning have become very difficult and I need help to do these simple everyday tasks. Before my injury I could hold down a full time job and lead an independent life but since my injury my whole way of life has changed.
I am a user of the Cedar Foundations Brain Injury Rehabilitation Programme.
During the course of my rehabilitation following a brain injury it was recommended to me that the Cedar foundation would be of assistance and help me in training and employment.
This has proved to benefit me greatly because the Cedar Foundation has organised two different work placements locally and has helped me gain valuable work experience and meet new people in a working situation.
My name is Kieran McCann and I am here this morning to tell you what happened to me on Friday the 20thJune 2008, it started off as a normal morning, got up at my normal time, had my breakfast and went on to work as a stores person. It was the same as any day until at lunch time when my work mate asked me if I was feeling a bit sick but then I passed out.
I was taken to the local hospital in Omagh and transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital where I stayed for 12 days and didn't know anyone. I was then brought back to Omagh County hospital. After a few days of getting out I was introduced to the Brain Injury team who introduced me to Cedar. Both of these organisations have helped me get to where I am today.
Since joining Cedar I had gone back to my job as a store man but due to the way the recession is I was made redundant. Cedar have helped me with supporting out job searches and applications and have helped me with benefits. I am currently looking for work so that I can get back to earning some money.
Through Cedar I have recently gained a first aid qualification which will be good on my C.V. when looking for jobs.
My family and I would like to thank both the Brain Injury team and Cedar for the support and help that they give to me.
In the summer of 2008 I was involved in a near fatal road accident. In this accident I hit my head which resulted in bleeding of the brain as well as a broken bone in my neck. This time is a haze to me but I do know that after numerous months in the Royal's brain injury unit I was transferred to Musgrave hospital, to the spinal injury unit as one of my arms was not functioning correctly. They carried out tests and discovered nerve damage in my neck between C5/C6, I was told it was irreparable and we just have to wait and see what happened with time.
Previous to my accident I worked as a mechanic in a large franchise dealership and even though I thoroughly enjoyed this work I could not return to the garage floor with one arm not working fully. The dealership was kind enough to give me a less physical job but it involved dealing with customers and as my speech was affected in the accident I did not feel comfortable in this role.
It was at this time that I met with the Cedar Foundation through my occupational therapist. The Cedar Foundation encouraged me to further myself through education; this interested me so we began to research which course would best suit me. I found a course that suits my interest and skills perfectly in SWC Omagh Campus. The Cedar Foundation got me into the course and got me grants and aids to help with my learning. I have now almost finished my first year in my BTEC and I have begun looking at universities and I intend on continuing to third level education. Without the Cedar Foundation I would probably not have returned to education but I'm glad they encouraged me to as I'm thoroughly enjoying it and generally more content with my life.
EPILEPSY and ME
To tell the full story of how I developed epilepsy, I have to go back to my childhood, as I was never in good health from then.
I was born in Lisburn and shortly after I was released home to my parents, they realised something was wrong. I was brought to the RVH in Belfast where I had to undergo serious operations.
To read my full story click here....Siobhan McGinn
Before I had a brain injury I was working as a plastering sub contractor and had a small family farm. So I was very, very busy, I was never at home. I ran my own business for over 20 years and at the time of my accident had 15 men working for me. I worked all over the country both north and south, from Cork to Dublin to Derry. I loved being out and about and being busy.
After my injury I was in hospital for 6 or 7 weeks and when I came out of hospital I couldn't leave the house, I had no confidence and just couldn't face going out. I just sat at home and got more and more down and depressed. I hadn't done any work at all for over a year and when I did try to go back I just wasn't able, I couldn't handle the stress and pressure of being back at work and couldn't deal with all the phone calls from people looking work done. Only for my son the business would have folded but I didn't like putting all the pressure onto him either.
I was told about the Cedar Foundation by The Brain Injury Team and soon started working with Anita and done a computer course at Anderson House. This gave me the routine of getting out of the house and I looked forward to having something to do. I came back onto the Cedar programme this year and have been working with Darragh to find courses and work that I am interested in. I have started a tiling course in Enniskillen and I hope to start working on a renovation project in Donegal with Mullaghmore House.
Apart from this I liked getting the chance to meet other people with Brain Injury to share experiences with them.
MY BRAIN INJURY AND WHAT IT MEANS TO ME.
- Short term memory affected: I often loose things and can not remember where I put them. Also I can forget messages or fail to remember things I have to do. I depend greatly on a diary system or my mobile phone to remind me.
- I find it more difficult to concentrate and get tired or loose interest when doing a task.
- I feel my ability to process information is slower than it was.
- Problems trying to motivate myself to plan ahead and set goals.
- I can get frustrated and angry at times because I have a desire to get back out working.
- I can get anxious about things and panic more easily.
- My sleep patterns are greatly affected. I maybe can only sleep 3-4 hours at night time and can be tired during day time.
Brain Injury and Me:
I was in a car crash on 21st August 1977 I was 17 years of age.
I spent a month in hospital with a fractured skull and lost six pints of blood, I was on a respirator for 8 ˝ hours and was unconscious for 2 ˝ hours.
I was in hospital for my 18th birthday and left to come home on September but I have no memory of coming home from hospital.
To read more about my story click here ...Sharon Wardman