As part of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust's (BIRT) 25th anniversary celebrations, we are featuring a selection of case studies which highlight some success stories from within BIRT services.

Orla underwent surgery to remove a life threatening brain tumour and came to York House when she was just 18. Staff at York House worked with the neurobehavioural model to support Orla with adjusting to life with an acquired brain injury (ABI), using a number of interventions to help her live as independently as possible.

Orla has struggled with compulsive behaviours around eating, steadily gaining weight. Orla: “In March 2014 I weighed 18 st 12 lbs. I decided to make a change. With the support of my family and the staff at York House I have continued to maintain a healthier diet and lifestyle: on my visits to York city centre I used to catch the bus there and back – now I walk. The more weight I have lost, the more exercise I have been able to do and the better I feel.

Cath Dudzinska, one of Orla’s therapy assistants explained: “We worked with Orla to support her to attend local weight management classes and set up a plan to help her stay motivated, with celebrations at weight loss milestones along the way. Her “treats” included a shopping trip and a pantomime visit.

York House Service user Orla

"We have been supporting Orla to make regular visits to the gym where she has moved on to using weights. We also support her with self-cater sessions twice a week, where Orla has learnt to make healthier food choices.”

Orla has now lost over 5 stone. Last year a healthier, happier Orla attended a family event in her native Ireland, where friends and family congratulated her on her weight loss success. In March 2016 Orla took part in the Sport Relief 3 Mile Challenge. She has also recently enjoyed skiing, horse riding and even indoor sky diving!