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A brain injury survivor has spoken out in his role as a science communicator for New Zealand-based publication, Science Made Simple.
In the journal James Piercy talks about living with a brain injury and describes it as a ‘hidden disability’ and something that is poorly understood. He wants to make more people aware of the difficulties that brain injury survivors have to deal with on a daily basis and admits that before his accident he knew nothing about the effects of brain injuries.
In 2011 James and his wife and three children were travelling inside a car in Norwich when it swerved off the road and into a tree. The impact caused him to suffer a traumatic brain injury and his wife lost her life, the children survived with minor injuries. His recovery began when he came out of a six day coma and to this day, he has no memory of being in the accident.
The damage to the right side of his brain resulted in weakness down that side of his body, it was also classed as a ‘diffuse brain injury’ meaning the area damaged was not localised and was more spread out. He reports that this type of brain damage has had the most profound effect on his abilities. He said: “In most people, the parts of the brain that control your speech and language are on the left-hand side, when I get tired, I get a bit of a stammer, and I sometimes get stuck for words.”
Fatigue is one of the major problems he has to deal with; he says it happens when he is stressed and that sleep does help but it is not a cure necessarily, he said: “But the best thing I can do to recover is relax, stop trying to concentrate, stop worrying, and try convincing myself it will all be okay.” He added that certain brain training activities help including reading, playing games and socialising. He said that he has come to terms with the fact that he will not feel like his old self again and that he has embraced the new him.
He said: “Lots of people with brain injury look perfect – you might think they’re drunk, or mentally ill, but actually they’re just really tired, or they have memory problems, or are anxious sometimes because they’ve had damage to parts of their brain.”
Living with a brain injury can be an extremely challenging task and it can heavily impact on those around you too; often presenting unexpected and testing situations. At Jefferies Solicitors we have a team of experienced and knowledgeable brain injury lawyers who help a wide range of different clients who have suffered through someone else’s fault. If you would like more advice and information please do not hesitate to contact us on our national accident helpline above or complete one of our online claim forms. We may be able to help you on a no win no fee basis.
Published 11th February 2015.