11. My Brain Injury Story: Part 1

In the last blog I wrote I tried explaining what a brain injury is, but the thing is that every brain is different making every brain injury truly unique. Different areas of the brain are responsible for different functions so it is possible to make predictions about the symptoms the person will be left with depending on the areas of the brain you injure e.g. if you damage the part of the brain that deals with vision then they will likely have visual problems. Everybody who has had a traumatic brain injury has a story to tell, this is mine, there’s quite a bit to say so ill start with the incident itself:


The night of Monday 14th May 2007 involved what the vast majority of student nights out involved: a few stellas! Fast forward a few hours I was on my way home, I went to call into the bar where my housemate Tim was working to see if he had finished work and was ready to come home with me. When he wasn’t ready I went to travel home alone on the Magic Bus, because in 2007 that is how I rolled. If you have never travelled on a student night bus after a student night then imagine a bus full of the most irritating idiots that cant handle their alcohol packed into a bus that should have been decommissioned years ago. Depending on your luck that bus fragranced either faintly or strongly with vomit! (I never experienced a sweet smelling one!) This was all yours for 50p a trip!

That is the bus I planned to catch but I never actually made it that far. For anyone that knows the reference I was walking down the right hand side of Oxford Road in Manchester with the central library behind me in the direction of the bus stops after the crossing with Portland Street. I went to cross over Portland Street where McDonalds is on the corner.


When I crossed the road toward McDonald’s a car was speeding down Portland Street heading towards me coming from my left at speeds allegedly up to 50mph. He had seen me and slammed his brakes, I must have seen him and started running, he lost control of the car and mounted the pavement where he hit me. My head smashed a hole in the windscreen cracking my skull, breaking both my eye sockets, my jaw, my palette (roof of my mouth), my nose and left cheek bone, 3 vertebrates in my neck were also cracked. I was also cut numerous times on my body from the broken glass in particular on the left side of my forehead and down to my eye marginally missing my left eyeball. That was lucky of course it was because I could have lost my vision but to be honest it not the kind of luck I wanted! I’d rather have found £20, got a free kebab and a taxi home but very lucky considering what might have happened!


All my knowledge of the accident is from the evidence gathered by Greater Manchester Police I cannot remember a thing. In fact I have a gap in my memory from earlier that afternoon when I finished work at Loaf bar on Deansgate Locks up until about 6 weeks later in the ward at Salford Royal Hospital.


I have had more than one person offer the following explanation to me “that’s because if it’s too traumatic then your brain doesn’t remember it”. Do you buy that? I don’t buy that that! In fact it sounds to me as if somewhere in the brain there is a committee or a panel of judges involved like the X Factor. They judge whether the memory of the incident gets to be stored in the brain. The traumatic memory has received a yes vote from Louie and Cheryl, a no vote from Gary Barlow. Now the deciding vote goes to Simon Cowell, does it get another No vote or does some inspirational music start to play as he gives a little wink and says “memory you’ve got three yes’s!” and it makes its way to be stored where it will be remembered. I’m obviously not medically qualified but I hope you get what I mean.


I disagree that the reason I cant remember is because my brain found it to be too traumatic, I think its because my head went through a car window. The same reason as if I was writing this blog at the top of the Eiffel tower then threw my computer off so the document may not be recoverable afterwards. In this case the computer that is my brain went through a car windscreen and didn’t fall off the top of the Eiffel Tower. Or something like that!


Anyway moving swiftly on! When you have a head trauma the clock starts ticking and your recovery is dictated by the treatment you receive in the hour following the injury. This is known as the golden hour, judging by the severity of my accident and my level of recovery today I can only assume that I received excellent treatment inside the golden hour. How could I be more grateful to the emergency services on duty that night?


I was taken via ambulance to the nearest accident and emergency department at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Mine was a closed head injury; this is where the skull remains intact. This is as opposed to an open head wound where the skull is penetrated such as a gunshot that is not nice to even think about and your chances of recovery are obviously minimized.


I’ll stop there for now and ill pick it up next time, if you have any comments or questions please do not hesitate to write them in the comments section below. You can read Part 2  by clicking below :

12.) My Brain Injury Story: Part 2

6 thoughts on “11. My Brain Injury Story: Part 1”

  • Can’t wait for the next instalment of your story Brooke! It’s going to take a while to cover the (nearly) nine years of your ‘new’ life.

  • Amazingly told, in a humoured way! I have taken great inspiration from your blog and will be encouraging others to write similar blogs.
    Keep up the great work!

  • I know that people say it’s your brain protecting you when you can’t remember your injury but I just think it’s bloody frustrating not to remember bugger all. I can only imagine my head injury was an open one with the damage I did to the car but I do know that my brain was bleeding inside and I had an inter-cranial pressure bolt screwed into my head to stop the bleeding causing me more brain damage (the more the merrier I say!) and I had a triple spiral fracture of my right fibia, broken ribs and my left lung had collapsed. I had around 32 scars on my head along with a broken nose and a severe laceration to my right eyebrow, I saw the policeman at the court case for my claim (I lost because I just stepped out allegedly) and he told me that nobody thought I was going to make it to hospital. The ambulance men had to revive me twice on the way and they’d radioed the hospital to say that they were bringing in a seriously injured casualty and to be prepared, they were and thanks to all the medical staff I’m still here. The hospital measured my brain activity when I got to hospital and it was the lowest you can get without being brain dead (no change there then!) After a year in hospital I was released to the care of my mother (a retired nurse) to continue my rehab in the community.

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