Blow to head: Isaac

A kick from a horse left eight-year-old Isaac with a brain injury.

Published: October 2015. Child’s age at time of brain injury: 8 years. Isaac, from Spelsbury, Oxfordshire, was playing with his friend in a field next to his grandmother’s house when the accident occurred. The two boys had become excited when they found a spider whilst out playing. This spooked a pair of nearby horses and one of them kicked Isaac, leaving him with a fractured skull. He was knocked unconscious and spent three days in a paediatric high dependency unit at the John Radcliffe hospital.

A difficult return to school

One week later he was sent home and advised that he would be able to return to school two weeks later. Isaac returned to school on a part-time basis for the next six months, however, when he returned he found the experience overwhelming and impossible to cope with.  Mum, Nicola explains “it was an awful thing for him to go through. Instead of helping him to feel normal again, school stopped the recovery process and gave him high levels of frustration and anxiety. But no one could see this except me.” Sadly it’s a hidden disability. Because there is no obvious signs of his brain injury, people assume he is completely recovered. Many children and young people with an ABI struggle to keep up with the pace of learning that they were once use to. Brain injury may slow down the speed at which they’re able to process information and can lead to feelings of fatigue, problems with memory, and emotional difficulties such as anxiety or depression.

Playing sport

Despite not being able to return to school, Isaac did return to playing with his local football team, Charlbury FC under 10s. Nicola suggests that Isaac’s recovery was boosted by playing sport.“I credit sports with giving Isaac back his self-confidence and positivity,” she says. Isaac recently took part in an all-inclusive sporting event, the Para Tri, along with Nicola and his sister, Heidi. Isaac joined six-times Paralympic gold medal winner David Weir’s team in the sprint relay and took part in the cycling section with his family’s relay team. Nicola said the event helped Isaac further increase in confidence. “It was an amazing day and it felt like we were part of something really important. “He was so excited to learn that he was chosen to join David Weir. The experience of meeting and competing with such a fantastic man will no doubt have a lasting influence. “He is a role model who proves that having a disability doesn’t have to stand in the way of success. This opportunity has boosted Isaac’s confidence and given him aspirations for the future.”
Isaac and his family were able to a raise £1000 for their charities and Isaac was able to mark a remarkable recovery from a brain injury.
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