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In March of this year, 17 Year old Daniel Bennett was involved in a car crash in which three of his best friends, also all aged 17, died.
Daniel spent nine days in a coma after suffering a brain injury as well as a broken wrist, leg, shoulder and two “little” breaks to his back.
He is now back home.
His mum explains “I did bring a different son home from hospital. Daniel is a lot more paranoid, aggressive and agitated since he was in the crash”.
Daniel’s mum is not alone in noticing a difference in her son following his brain injury. So often families and friends of those injured report a marked change in their loved one. It is hard for them to adjust and deal with these changes. On the one hand they are relieved that their son/daughter is alive however they feel as if the person they knew before the accident has gone.
Daniel himself explains that “everything feels like more effort. When I came out of hospital I couldn’t feel the temperature and everything tasted differently”. Daniels brain injury affects his memory and his vision. He has also developed anxiety. He explains “I’ll forget what I’ve been saying to people or what I’ve said. I’ll forget what I have done last weekend”.
Again these are common deficits which are a result of a head injury. It is imperative that clients with such deficits have the support and care team in place around them to ensure that they can live as independent a life as possible. Also those with head injuries need to have access to the right aids and equipment to help with their memory and anxiety. Most importantly to have the right therapy team working with a client who has a head injury is vital. Access to therapy allows someone to start to learn strategies which they can use day to day and start to manage their problems in a way that works for them.
A young client of Novum Law’s experienced similar problems to those described by Daniel. Our client was an keen football supporter and would attend football matches with his friends and family. After a while it was noted that he would always ask to sit at the end of the aisle at a match. At half time he would make his excuses and disappear only to come back to the group when the game started again.
Upon speaking with his treating OT it transpired that he was unable to remember any of the players names or positions. He would leave his friends at half time as he felt unable to take part in the mid match conversation due to his memory problems. He would also leave straight after the game again to avoid any post match discussions for the same reasons. This was affecting his confidence and he was starting to be reluctant about attending football matches.
With the support of his OT, support worker and psychologist and a lot of hard work on his part, our client started to learn the players names. He also started to learn about the history of the club again to allow him to feel comfortable discussing his favourite football team with his friends.
We take things like this for granted however for our client this was a huge part of his life. Together with his therapy team they built up series of goals for him to work towards all of which centred around his love of football and to feel a little bit normal again.
For the full article in respect to the accident Daniel was involved in, please click here