Jamie Hamilton attends our Northern Inclusion Works Brain Injury service, as part of ABI week he has agreed to share his story with us.

 

“I had a motorbike crash at the Isle of Man TT in 2015.  I was racing in the Senior TT race and travelling at 175mph when I crashed.  I was dead at the scene and was then  resuscitated at the side of the road.  They airlifted me to  Nobles Hospital in the Isle of Man where they worked to stabilise me.  I spent three hours there before they airlifted me to Aintree hospital in England.  I spent 9 days in critical care before I was airlifted to Belfast where I spent 9 weeks in hospital.  I was then in and out of hospital for 4 years.

I had multiple injuries: a lisfranc fracture to my foot, I had internal damage, I had a partially collapsed lung, broken ribs, my humerus was smashed and had to be plated, I had a frontal lobe contusion head injury and a small bleed to  the brain when the crash happened.

It was a long recovery, my body was under a lot of stress, I had to wear a cage on my leg for 4 years, and I still struggle.  The affects that I have due to my head injury are memory problems, fatigue , anxiety.   I have been discharged from the doctor who deals with Brain Injuries who says that I am as good as I ever will be.

I can remember things from years ago up to 2012, 2013 in detail, after that my memory is patchy.  I am good at remembering things that I see not so good with things that I hear.  Therefore I am bad with conversations.  If I write things down or picture something in my head it usually helps me to remember.

I am a ‘happy go lucky’ person, though I get anxiety and worry a lot more than I did before.  I have always been a positive person and I feel that my positive outlook on life is what has helped me through.  I am a very ‘glass half full’ type of person and I look for what I can possibly achieve now with my Head Injury.  I understand that I have had it, now I try and think what I can possibly achieve in the situation I am in and try and make a positive out of it.  Which is possibly why I’m talking today as I like the opportunity to give someone an outlook on what their future may hold. Just because you have a head injury doesn’t mean your world has come to an end.  There are plenty of things that you can still achieve in life and that is the way I feel.

I would like to move forward and achieve as much as I possibly can. I understand that I will always have a head injury and that I will never be fully recovered.  I will never be the person I was. I will still definitely have down days, and I still do.  There are a lot of times I struggle with memory problems. Someone talks to me about something, a conversation that was had and I will say that I don’t remember that.  Though because my memory is good in some parts, they think that it is a put on, and they say ‘your having a laugh, joking!’.  Lucky enough with my personality I can laugh it off, but it hurts.  The fact that you genuinely don’t remember and people don’t understand.

Its not the end of the world, you can change your outlook and think to yourself, that you are lucky.  Lucky because of what you have come through, there is a lot of people who have similar injuries that aren’t capable of doing what you can do .  Look for positives in it and focus on what you can achieve in the future.

My love is for motorbikes, I’m in a shop where I help with advertising for motor bikes.  I get a chance to talk to people which I like doing.  Before my accident I was an engineer and I made gates and railings and I done welding.  With my injuries I couldn’t go back to that.  I actually feel that I would love to have done this before, and now this has given me an opportunity.  It is like a restart.  I love getting out talking to people and dealing with the advertising of the bikes.  I actually really enjoy it and hopefully I can continue getting better.

I recently got a role on BBC radio doing commentary for the NW200.  I am looking forward to that and seeing where it takes me.  It could be a lot of talking rubbish, but that will suit me alright.

Whenever you have a head injury it is not the end of the world, there is still plenty more things to do.  I feel you can use it as a positive, think about what you can possibly achieve with your head injury, Rather than think about the negatives.

I’ve been working with Cedar to help with my recovery and to get back to some sort of normality.  They have been great to work with and have really supported me in anything that I need.  I can get in touch with Geraldine, my case worker at Cedar and she keeps me right, and gives me any advice I need.  She helps with training to get me ready for what I would like to achieve in life.

 

What is Inclusion Works?

Inclusion Works supports adults with disabilities who are keen to build employability skills and experience to be work ready, then moving into a paid job, college course or volunteering on leaving. Specialist physical disability, ASD and brain injury support is available and tailored to each individual and their needs. Following initial assessments, participants will build an action plan, drawn from a menu of choices to address their personal barriers and agree solutions to meet their employability and inclusion goals. Inclusion Works is person-centred, encouraging and supporting individuals to design their own programmes around their needs and aspirations, building confidence and independence.

 

      

 

Want to know more?

If you would like to find out more about Cedar’s Inclusion Works programme please visit our dedicated page Inclusion Works. You can also keep up to date with Cedar through Facebook and Twitter.