Project will help parents of brain injury children

The Family Support Project has been launched in Teeside by family of teenager who fell from a cliff. 

It has been set up at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough by charity Matrix Neurological, which in turn was set up by Jan Rock whose son Callum suffered a severe brain trauma. Callum, now 22, fell 70 ft from a cliff in Guisborough Woods in 2010, and was not expected to survive. But after specialist medical care, and intensive support from his family, he made a remarkable recovery, and is now studying physiotherapy at university. Mrs Rock experienced first-hand the challenges a brain injury can bring to a family - and now wants to ensure there are no gaps when it comes to support services, both in and out of the hospital. The Family Support Project aims to provide information to families about acquired brain injury, and make people aware of all the help available. “Bringing a brain injured child home from hospital is extremely stressful and has a significant impact on all of the family,” said Jan. “We want to share what we have learned and ensure local families are provided with effective support that makes a real difference. “I was so focused on getting Callum’s brain functioning again that when I did look for some support I fell into a signposting loop. I got nowhere because everyone was just signposting me to someone else. “We want to provide a single point of contact so we can coordinate all their support needs and bring existing pubic services to them. It’s about problem solving and doing practical things to take the pressure off the family unit so they can focus on their immediate priorities - caring for their brain-injured child.” Figures show that between 2010 and 2015 about 50 children in the Tees Valley area were admitted to hospital for a serious brain injury. Cathy Brammer, clinical matron for children and young people added: “We want the support to start right at the beginning and not after discharge. These families face a long period of rehabilitation and they need to be focussing on the young person and not worrying about everything else.”
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