Ciaran’s rehabilitation and returning home

We first met Ciaran a couple of months into his residential brain injury rehabilitation at The Children’s Trust. Christmas is around the corner and Ciaran’s going home and back to school.

“On the 7th January I’m going to my new school going into Year 7. Most of my friends went there from my primary school, and my older sister is there. I’m really looking forward to it!” Ciaran’s clearly excited about returning to school since he had a brain haemorrhage in May 2018. It’s been months of hard work but after four months of residential rehabilitation Ciaran will leave The Children’s Trust next week. Last month Ciaran shared his experience from the day of his brain haemorrhage through to the first few months of rehabilitation. Ciaran now looks back on the past couple of months.  

November to December 2018 – Ciaran’s account

Ciaran carrying tray
It’s good to see how much stronger my arm’s got since I’ve been here. Just this morning I got a medal for the improvement and I watched a video showing how my arm was a few months ago and how far I’ve progressed.

Sessions and activities

Don’t tell the occupational therapists, but I think physio is my favourite (see box below)! I’m still improving and the other week I tried running across the room and I could do it. I was so happy (but I am doing it carefully!). I’ve been using the scooter in sessions and at weekends. I mainly put my right leg on and my left leg does the pushing. The last time I went swimming I could move my arm higher than I could before and I could swim and breathe at the same time. In the pool I always used my left arm a lot and within a few weeks I didn’t have to use the woggle. I can really see how much I’ve improved. I can’t wait to go home and swim – hopefully with my friends too. At horseriding I’m riding on my own this week and I’m going to do a rising trot! It has helped my balance and I’ve done arm exercises sitting on the horse.

Return to school

When I go back to school we’re going to see how it goes. We had a meeting at the school a few weeks ago. After every lesson they will ask me how I’m feeling and if I’m tired they will ring my mum to collect me. I don’t think I’ll need to go home though as the days here are pretty full and I’m fine. Plus I’m not someone who gets tired easily.

Community physio

Ciaran on treadmill
Once I’m home I will see a community physio but I also have sheets of exercises I need to do every day – and I can remember them too. I also need to go on the treadmill.

Life at The Children’s Trust

My evenings here have been spent playing games with friends, and I made some good friends. It has been hard sometimes when friends have left and I’ve tried to find new children I can have a conversation with. I’m still in touch with some children who have left. The longer I’ve been here the more activities I’ve enjoyed. At the start I wasn’t sure about music therapy but I love playing the drums now. My advice to other children is to remember to keep working hard. I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve definitely improved a lot. Some things are hard but you have to get on with it and try your best.

Thanks to Ciaran for sharing his story over the seven months since his brain haemorrhage in this blog and his previous blog.

Good luck Ciaran on your return to school!


Ciaran’s favourite physio activities 

  • I step up onto a platform heel first.
  • On the treadmill I built up to 30 minutes three times a week – this included walking backwards to use different muscles and increasing my speed.
  • I’ve enjoyed carrying a tray with water on it and walking around obstacles – pretending these were a cat, a bag and my sister!
  • I also used physio in my everyday activities – like using my left hand to eat a banana. 

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