In August 2010 Byron was seriously injured in an unprovoked attack and admitted to hospital with a fractured skull and intracranial haemorrhage. After spending four months in a hospital inpatient rehabilitation unit Byron was discharged into his mother’s care, but he struggled with daily living tasks and needed help washing, dressing and shopping.
In April 2012 Byron was assessed by BIRT and deemed suitable for admission to Daniel Yorath House (DYH) for rehabilitation but this did not result in an admission. However, a year later Byron commited an offence and was jailed.
Whilst in prison he was referred to one of The Foundation Brain Injury Linkworkers. Bryon worked with a Brain Injury Linkworker whilst on remand in prison. In September 2013 Byron received an 18 month suspended sentence on the condition that intensive brain injury support is accessed and he moved to Daniel Yorath House in Leeds.
Byron’s brain injury had left him with acquired hemiplegia including weakness, stiffness and lack of control of his left arm. There were also deficits in his cognitive function, in particular his short-term memory. He suffered with very low self-esteem and struggled with anxiety.
The multi-disciplinary team at Daniel Yorath House worked intensively with Byron on a series of interventions. These were designed not only to develop independent living skills, strategies for memory and information processing but also to help him come to terms with his life after brain injury.
Daniel Yorath House's neuro-physiotherapist, Alex Higgs, worked closely with Byron to train him in the use of The SaeboFlex, which was funded by a grant from The Huw Thatcher Trust. SaeboFlex is a specialist assistive technology kit which allows individuals to incorporate their arm and hand functionally in therapy by the use of a hand brace with a supported spring system. Alex trained our Rehabilitation Support Workers (RSW’s) in how to use the SaeboFlex kit with Byron so that he was able to use this daily. The use of the SaeboFlex meant Byron was able to make significant progress and improvements were seen in his grasp reflex, spasticity, muscle tone and flexibility
After six months of intensive rehabilitation, Byron had developed sufficient independent living skills for plans to make a transition back into the community.
Following his discharge there was an eight week period when Byron didn’t have access to his own SaeboFlex at home and it was noted that there was deterioration in his muscle tone and flexibility.
Our physio team supported Byron in accessing funding for his own Saeboflex unit and worked with his Community Services Support Worker so that he could be supported in using it daily at home.
Byron now lives in his own house and is no longer dependent on his Mum for support in daily living tasks. He uses the SaeboFlex kit on a daily basis. He has recently passed his driving test and has purchased an assisted car which enables him to go food shopping and see friends and family. As his strength in his arm has returned so too has his self-esteem and he hopes to start fishing again and look into vocational training – perhaps in IT.
Through the specialist skills, knowledge and training of the staff at Daniel Yorath House and his physiotherapist and Byron’s commitment to the consistent use of the SaeboFlex kit, he is now able to enjoy a fully independent life.
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