“Without Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, I would probably be dead. I would have probably taken the wrong tablets or just given up.”
31-year-old brain injury survivor Stephen bravely shares his story to demonstrate the importance of access to neurorehabilitation; and how donations this Christmas can empower Brain Injury Survivor’s to rebuild their lives.
Stephen was a military man. His family was a military family and it was the only future he saw for himself. He was a member of the defence forces and his identity was Private Byrne. Not only was Stephen a Soldier, but he was also a father, a brother, a son. He was in his twenties and he was a fit and healthy young man. But a brain injury doesn't care how young, fit, or healthy we are. A brain injury doesn't discriminate. Stephen had a fall while on army duty and a CT scan revealed that his brain was bleeding and it was profoundly serious.
Stephen lost power in his arms and legs and began to fall when walking. He also developed incontinence and needed a tube through his stomach, connecting his bladder and a urine bag. Stephen's brain injury stole many precious moments of fatherhood from him as his daughter, Molly, was only a year old at the time. His injury also robbed his career as he was discharged from the defence forces on medical grounds. Private Byrne became Mister Byrne earlier this year. His brain injury changed the course of his life and it was a devastating blow to Stephen. Vital donations meant Acquired Brain Injury Ireland was able to support Stephen at the most challenging time of his life.
Stephen had someone and somewhere to turn to. Stephen was empowered to open up to his family, participate in groups for brain injury survivors and engage in one-to-one neurorehabilitation support.
It has been a hard road for Stephen to get to where he is today. And there were many times that he has thought about giving up. But because of vital donations, Stephen has had the support he needed to navigate this rough road.
Fifty-two people acquire a brain injury in Ireland every day. This means that many families like The Byrnes are going to experience brain injury throughout the festive season this year.
This Christmas, you can ensure that more brain injury survivors can receive the same life-changing support that Stephen has by sending a special donation.
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland is the country’s leading provider of community rehabilitation for those aged 18-65 years living with and recovering from an acquired brain injury.
At any one time, the national not-for-profit organisation delivers dedicated individual rehabilitation and support to over 1200 brain injury survivors and their families, to rebuild their lives.
To donate or support please click here.