X
About Us
Join us
Additional services
Call us on

May 21st 2021

Accidents at Work

Action for Brain Injury Week: Survivor says support networks are key to avoid ‘life in isolation’

Jane Woodcock

Jane Woodcock

Head of Personal Injury

Action for Brain Injury Week: Survivor says support networks are key to avoid ‘life in isolation’

A man who suffered a serious brain injury in an accident at work says an awareness campaign highlighting how people can be left facing ‘a life of isolation’ after injury is perfectly timed as lockdown measures are further relaxed in the UK.

A man who suffered a serious brain injury in an accident at work says an awareness campaign highlighting how people can be left facing ‘a life of isolation’ after injury is perfectly timed as lockdown measures are further relaxed in the UK.

Matthew Burke, of Doncaster, had to learn to walk again after suffering bleeding on the brain and undergoing a life-saving five-hour operation, having hit his head on a concrete floor following a fall nine years ago.

Since his accident when working as a scaffolder, Matthew has rebuilt his life, buying his own home in Hull before selling up and moving to Doncaster for a new job, whilst also throwing himself into running marathons to ensure he ‘always has a new challenge ahead’.

This week marks Action for Brain Injury Week 2021 (May 17-23), led by the charity Headway, with the theme entitled ‘A life of lockdown?’

It aims to use the times of isolation everybody has experienced throughout repeated lockdowns over the past year – and the impact on mental health – to help people better understand how life can be after suffering a serious brain injury.

Counselling support crucial on road to recovery

Matthew, 37, feels he would have ‘struggled immensely’ to make the recovery he has had his injury come prior to a national lockdown.

He puts his recovery down to the support networks he had access to from firstly his close family, but also crucially health professionals he was supported by as part of a personal injury compensation claim through Hudgell Solicitors.

“It’s hard to imagine how hard life is after suffering a serious brain injury like I did,” he said.

“I had some dark days initially and I was isolated at home and not really interested in having any kind of social life. It was the people around me who got me going and kept pushing me.

“My mum would be with me every day checking on how I was doing and making sure I was getting the help and support I needed. She would make sure I was having my counselling, which was organised for me through my solicitors. That made a huge difference to me.”

The awareness campaign aims to give a voice to survivors and carers to help them better explain to their friends and families the challenges they face as a result of brain injury.

It also includes positive messages to help people make a difference, and tools such as guides and top tips for friends of brain injury survivors and carers. The campaign is also urging people to ‘reach out’ and let others ‘know they are not alone.’

Research highlights high number of brain injury victims feeling isolated

According to a study published by Headway, more than half of brain injury survivors who sustained their injuries within the past two years say they have lost access to rehabilitation services as a result of Covid-19 lockdown measures.

“I imagine the past year has been immensely tough for people who have suffered brain injuries and have been in the early stages of recovery during lockdown. People need to be aware of how much support is needed and hopefully this week will help with that,” Matthew said.

“This campaign is well-timed as everybody has a greater appreciation now of how isolation feels. I know it was hard, and it is easy to become isolated even now. I made sure I kept busy though lockdown and I make sure I keep myself busy at all times now.

“I enjoy my work and I have completed around 60 running events including 10ks, half marathons and even a marathon. I always like to have a challenge ahead in my diary.

“The best advice I can offer anyone is to try and stay positive, but that is not always easy if you don’t have the support network around you.”

Solicitors secured six-figure damages and vital support package

Jane Woodcock, Head of Personal Injury at Hudgell Solicitors, secured a six-figure damages settlement for Matthew to compensate for his injury, loss of earnings and being prejudiced in the jobs market going forward.

She also ensured he benefitted from that vital support network of dedicated specialists, whilst Matthew was also introduced to Hudgell Solicitors’ Ambassador Paul Spence, attending at the P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery centre in Hull, which offers one to one and group support.

Mrs Woodcock said: “The way Matthew has been able to rebuild his life following his injury highlights just how vital the right network of support is from the very moment somebody returns home from hospital.

“It has of course been difficult over the past year or so for many people who have suffered serious injury to receive the same level of service, but we have worked extra hard with rehabilitation, occupational therapy and counselling teams to ensure our clients have been supported at all times.

“There is often a lack of public understanding of brain injuries as they are often hidden disabilities such as issues with memories and speech. This can leave survivors lacking the confidence and feeling uncomfortable socially.

“We know that ensuring the right support networks are in place as soon as possible can make a huge difference in how quickly people are able to start putting their lives back together and moving forward again.

“Without the appropriate support, brain injury survivors can see the long-term effects worsen, so we certainly welcome and support this awareness campaign.

“Improving everyone’s understanding of what it is like to suffer a serious brain injury a little can make a big difference to how we provide support as a collective community.”

What Our Clients Say

Start your claim