My brain injury by Ciaran

Ciaran, age 11, tells us about the early days of his brain haemorrhage from the morning of his injury through to his rehabilitation.


May 2018: feeling ill

One morning I woke up and I was fine. I got breakfast and I got dressed then I was sitting on a chair in the kitchen and my head started hurting. I told my mum as it got really bad, like “Ow, ow, ow”. My mum gave me a paracetamol and got me to lie down, but then I started being sick. She called the doctor and they said to take me to hospital and get them to scan me. I walked to the car but on the journey I was losing consciousness. In the car I couldn’t feel my leg and by the time I got to hospital I couldn’t walk. They scanned me then I was blue-lighted to Birmingham Hospital. I can’t remember any of it and I went to the intensive care unit (ICU) and I was in there for a few days [Ciaran’s scan showed a large intra parenchymal bleed].

June to August 2018: hospital

I changed wards but was just lying there in bed not talking, not being able to move – I couldn’t move my head off the pillow. Gradually I started waking up more. I’d been tube fed so they started me on Quavers crisps [‘bite and dissolve’ foods]. I also had a drain in my head drawing the fluid out. I started waking up more, talking and eating more. I did physio and occupational therapy in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and I was going home for weekends – I hadn’t been home for nearly two months. I was then assessed at hospital to see if I could go to The Children’s Trust for rehabilitation. Soon after this I returned home, then I went to and from Birmingham Hospital to have physio twice a week. It wasn’t too long until I got a call to say I had got a place at The Children’s Trust and I would be going there the following week.

August to October 2018: rehabilitation

On the second day at The Children’s Trust (late August) I tried walking without my crutch. A month later, after lots of physio and occupational therapy, I’m not using my wheelchair at all and I’m using my arm a lot more. I enjoy all my physio and one of the therapies I like best is hydrotherapy – it’s nice to be able to walk along the floor. I can use my legs more in the pool than I do out of the water. I’ve just started swimming in the pool on my own without a woggle. That was last week’s achievement! I’ve made friends with other children here and we play games in the evening. I’ve done horseriding and it’s one of my favourite things. I also like occupational therapy – we make cakes and sell them – but we usually run out of cakes! When I came from hospital I was mostly in my wheelchair and this morning I was doing a race and I won by about two metres! I can fast walk now. I’ve improved a lot since I’ve been here. I like improving and when we play games I like winning – but if I don’t, I don’t go into a grump! Thanks to Ciaran for sharing his story of the first 4.5 months since his brain haemorrhage. We’ll be catching up with Ciaran as he continues his rehabilitation.
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