Gemma* recently moved home to live more independently after receiving rehabilitation at our BIRT service in Liverpool, Redford Court.
In her own words, she describes her time at the service.
"It’s been great working with all these people - committed, dedicated staff. I think it’s really special. Staff are vocational – lots of people do jobs and can’t wait to get out of them. Here, staff go above and beyond to help you.
After my injury, I was a nervous wreck. I had lost everything. I was phased by traffic and couldn’t walk properly. I couldn’t even go on a bus or to ASDA, as all the people moving around would make me dizzy. I could not have gone home straight away. If I had gone home immediately from hospital, my stress and anxiety would have heightened, I would have lost my confidence entirely, been paranoid, hiding from people. I would have been really depressed if I’m honest and I’m not that type of person. If I’d have gone home it would have been a disaster. Wouldn’t have known where to begin, or where to start with money. Wouldn’t have had the confidence to do anything back in society because brain injury is very isolating. There is no way I could not of come here.
Redford Court gave me confidence in interacting with others after my injury, like someone was holding my hand. And it was all done with a sense of humour and ‘banter’! Redford Court has allowed me to think more clearly, not panic and helped me concentrate.
Getting benefits was a foreign language and it’s frightening when something happens to you – it was all a bit overwhelming. You always think things aren’t going to happen to you and when it does, it changes the way you think. That’s why it’s so good that you do things gentle here; one step at a time.
I feel different now but lucky I am OK. I have been lucky to be around so many caring and genuine people. Everyone is doing a different role, but you are all working together. It is a rich experience – from going to the shops, to physio - talking to so many people helps because you do lose your confidence - OTs, speech, going for coffees – it’s all aspects.
You’ve got to be positive to move on. It’s been a milestone coming here in my life. I’ve always done loads for people so it’s nice to receive that. Because there’s not a lot of places like that.
After your injury, you feel like you’ve lost your life, lost you. Redford Court helps you get that back. It’s the stepping stones in all aspects.
I don’t know what I’ll end up doing now. To even think that way and re-evaluate is a positive thing. I was always multitasking and going at 100mph. Now fatigue after injury hits you in the face. I’ve really got to learn and accept and change now. I need to get used to being back at home, support my son, think differently and open my eyes – what else is out there job-wise? 30 years teaching is an achievement in itself and I’ve learnt life is too short."
*Name has been changed
For more information on Redford Court, our service in Liverpool, click here.