Challenges after a brain injury – and how I overcame them

At the age of 15 Joe had a traumatic brain injury. Now aged 22 he shares his tips on the things that helped him.

  Seven years ago I had a head injury when I was hit by a car while I was on my bike. I suffered a bleed on my brain, was in a coma and in time I learnt to walk again, had occupational therapy and I still have speech therapy now. Three things I found particularly hard after my head injury were:
  1. Memory skills – remembering what to do and who people were and when I met them. I found it really hard to pass exams in Year 11 as my memory was terrible.
  2. Organising – I found day-to-day tasks and shopping hard. It was hard to remember what I needed and where I needed to be (this ties in with memory issues).
  3. Budgeting – I find it hard deciding what I do and don’t need, and what is a necessity. I also find it tricky organising money and making sure payments are made on the right date and time.
To overcome these challenges I found several things helped. These include:
  1. Writing lists – I write shopping lists so I don’t forget, and to remind me what I’m doing and when. I can refer to them and make sure I know what is going on. I write lists on my phone and on paper – which one I use depends on the situation and where/when I’m doing it.
  2. Revision cards – I used to write things down on revision cards so I could refer back to them later.
  3. Help from others – my girlfriend Hayley and other people help me with money and working out what I want and what I need.
  4. Apps – I use apps on my phone like calendar and notes so I know what I’m doing and what to buy etc.
Life became easier after I learnt the skills and tips. They helped me to overcome the issues that the injury caused. Joe received help from the Brain Injury Community Service at The Children's Trust.
Joe and girlfriend Hayley
Joe and girlfriend Hayley at school
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