Every year it is estimated that 1 million people in the UK attend A&E as a result of a head injury, with approximately 135,000 suffering a brain injury. Brain injuries are regularly referred to as the hidden disability as there aren’t always clear physical signs or symptoms which are linked to it. Headway is one of the leading national charities that supports those affected by brain injury. Each year, Headway holds Action for Brain Injury Week (13th – 17th May 2013) when they try and raise awareness of the issues surrounding brain injuries and raise money in support.
Brain injuries arise in a number of circumstances. Perhaps the most common brain injuries are referred to as a ‘traumatic brain injury’ in that they have come about following a trauma to the head, often in a car, motorbike or push bike accident or from an assault or fall. Acquired brain injuries can also arise from strokes, brain tumours or other medical complications. Finally, children are sadly sometimes born with brain damage whether as a result of a traumatic birth causing a condition such as cerebral palsy or from a genetic disorder.
No matter how the brain injury or damage has arisen, quite simply, brain injuries change people’s lives. The effects can be varied causing changes to people’s behaviour and emotions – such as difficulties controlling anger or becoming depressed, the ability to remember, concentrate or understand things. These types of symptoms can have a significant impact on people’s ability to work or with their education. They can also put family relationships under immense strain, especially in cases where the injured person’s personality has effectively changed beyond recognition. Physical effects can be difficulty speaking, loss of co-ordination or senses or in some cases paralysis. These few examples demonstrate how at first, a brain injury can seem to not only destroy the life of the person with the injury but also that of their families.
Rehabilitation and support in these cases are essential. Unfortunately, the brain is unable to repair itself but it is adaptable and rehabilitation tries the help the brain learn new and alternative ways of doing things by developing new pathways for nerves to carry their messages. This is done by repeated exercises and activities. It takes a lot of patience from all involved as the road to recovery can be a slow one. Whilst full recoveries may not be possible, huge improvements can be made with good rehabilitation and support and it is so important for the whole family that they get the right input and assistance to help rebuild their lives.
At Harris Fowler, we have worked with people who have suffered from brain injuries as a result of an accident and so we understand how important getting the right after care is. We are also very proud to work with Headway, to support them and raise money whenever possible to ensure that their good work can continue. This year, we are teaming up to support Somerset Headway at the prestigious Taunton Flower Show, where brain injured members will be selling items they’ve grown and made with the charity’s help.
Anyone can support Action for Brain Injury Week, whether by getting involved with Hats for Headway on Friday 17th May 2013 or by attending one of the Devon Art Exhibition and Coffee Mornings or Open Days across Somerset planned throughout next week.
Contact Harris Fowler if you or a family member has suffered a brain injury as a result of an accident. Free and friendly legal advice is available on 0800 213 214.
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