This week, at our rehabilitation centre in Cambridgeshire, we’re delighted to share the inspiring journey of one of our patients, David, who has learned to speak again following a significant brain injury.
In light of Brain Injury Awareness Month in March, we felt it timely to share David’s story. A former Wisbech carpenter, he was tragically involved in a serious road traffic collision in 2017.
The accident, which involved David’s car hitting a lorry in the Fenland District, left him with a diffuse axonal brain injury – one of the most dangerous types of head injuries. David had to have an at-scene amputation of his right arm just above the elbow.
Admitted to our rehab centre from a Level 1 rehabilitation unit in 2018, David arrived in a prolonged disorder of consciousness, where he was unable to engage in therapy sessions or make eye contact with others.
Explaining the start of David’s journey, Sara, our clinical lead and outpatients service manager, said: “David arrived at Askham with a very significant brain injury. Diffuse axonal injuries cause a lot of damage to brain cells and, being so life-threatening, can take an extensive period from which to recover.
“Due to the nature of the injury, David’s rehabilitation required treatment from all four of our Askham Rehab disciplines; clinical psychology, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy.”
David was able to make good use of our new robotics and sensor assisted technology. Empowered with the state-of-the-art Tyromotion equipment, our therapists provided goal-driven therapy to help David push himself to achieve more in a shorter time frame.
The MYRO table, a sensor-based surface with interactive applications, provided cognitive stimulation through patterning and sequencing, helping David to reach and rotate with his left upper limb.
The OMEGO Plus, a multifunctional chair, enables specific training of functional therapy goals. A particular favourite of David’s, the equipment helped him use his lower limbs, focusing on building a range of movement and strength.
David also took part in hydrotherapy sessions, where one of our aqua therapists helped him stretch out his muscles and improve the range of movement at his joints. Our sensory rooms and gardens, too, helped to stimulate David’s senses and played a crucial part in the development of regaining certain cognitive skills.
Highlighting the progression David has made, Sara said: “David’s been with us for almost three years now. He couldn’t speak a word on arrival and can now hold conversations. He’s even getting his cheeky personality back. He’s hit many milestones since his journey began. The one that sticks out for me is when he gave us his first smile during a physiotherapy session, after splashing us in the hydrotherapy pool.
“It’s been extremely rewarding to see how far he’s progressed. He’s now making eye contact, initiating conversations, participating with the activities team, and engaging in physiotherapy sessions. He’s also close to his extremely supportive family – who have been grateful for everything we’ve provided him with at Askham – so they can visit him daily.”
She continued: “Ultimately, being at Askham has been a positive move for David. Askham’s ethos is all about patience, kindness, and nurturing people like David. Due to his injury, the road to recovery has been a long one, but we’re hopeful that one day David will return home to his parents.”
Summing up his journey so far at Askham, David said: “It’s nice here at Askham, I like everyone. There are good people looking after me.”
As a family business with more than 30 years’ experience, including 10 years of neurological rehabilitation expertise, we’re able to offer a quantitative and targeted approach to treatment, as well as greater discretion when targeting key areas following neurological events.
David’s journey encompasses what Brain Injury Awareness Month is all about; highlighting the strategies to improve the quality of life for persons living with brain injuries and their families.
To find out more about our rehabilitation centre in Cambridgeshire, do take some time to browse our website.