Carole Steel

I got my acquired brain injury through three cardiac                                 arrests. The help I had was through the paramedics                                and the QE. Family also helped me through.

It was very difficult for my family and partner at the                                  beginning because I was in a coma for six weeks on                                a life support machine for those six weeks.

My partner and family had to make a decision to                                       switch off the machine (which they did), the reason                                   being there was not much activity in the brain, so I                                  wouldn’t be able to do anything for myself and my                                    family agreed that I wouldn’t want to live like this.                                     They know me so well.

The doctors gave me one night to pass away, the                                     family were thinking about my funeral when I started                                to breathe for myself.

I was still in CCU for a few days after switching off the machine. Then I went onto the heart ward and was so drugged up that they had to ween me off them.

As I was starting to be more aware of where I was and I could only recognise my children but not my partner of twelve years.

From the QE I went to Moseley Hall Hospital where I started my rehab for a few months then I was discharged. At home I was still having memory problems, EG – reading and writing and not going out, feeling isolated.

One day my partner and I was having a discussion and my partner said shall I phone Headway, which he did and spoke to a member of staff and the rest is history, as they say.

At Headway, where I have been coming for two years my memory and writing has improved. I can also do a lot more for myself when the doctors said earlier on in my acquired brain injury that I wouldn’t be able to do anything, I can know go to the doctors by myself.

My goals for the future are to keep improving with my education and hopefully I will be able to assist in the charity shop for a couple of hours a week.

My family say that I am a different person, I was happy go lucky, but now not so much. On the good side my family have mentioned that I have improved somewhat and my partner says I’ve improved on a daily basis but unfortunately I can’t go back to work because of my acquired brain injury, which I did really enjoy.