Aged 19 years old, Sarah sustained a diffuse axonal injury in a road traffic accident, resulting from a suicide attempt. Her injuries left her with a range of neuropsychological and physical problems that required 24 hour care.

Reliant on a wheelchair, Sarah suffered from a series of health difficulties, including sensory impairment in her limbs, speech difficulties and ataxia, as well as presenting challenging and aggressive behaviour which included fire setting.

There was also a history of alcohol and substance misuse. Sarah's relationship with her family had broken down, with her children being placed in care. Before entering the BIRT continuum, Sarah resided in 11 different placements, including hospital and family care, nursing homes, mental health units and hostels for abused women.

When she was admitted to the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust's (BIRT) assessment service at Fen House, Cambridgeshire, she presented as highly aggressive and non-compliant, requiring 14 hours one-to-one supervised care per day, increasing to two-to-one when accessing the community.

Service user Sarah sitting in the dining area of Redford Court

Sarah transferred to Redford Court to be nearer family and friends. After a period of rehabilitation that included physiotherapy and speech and language therapy, she moved into an independent living flat within the grounds of Redford Court. Sarah made significant gains in her physical functioning, speech intelligibility and daily living skills.

There was a reduction in the frequency and intensity of verbal and physical aggression, and there were no further episodes of fire setting.

Eight years after sustaining her injuries, Sarah has moved to a supported community home to be even more independent and closer to her family and has recently married.

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