Matt suffered a brain injury as a result of a haemorrhagic stroke and after spending six weeks in an ICU and local general hospital, he arrived at Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Bristol for rehabilitation.
Prior to the haemorrhagic stroke, Matt worked on the IT systems team for a pensions administrator and did voluntary work as a special police constable. He was healthy, socially active, and was hoping to start a family and move into a new house with his wife. When the stroke happened it was unexpected, and the resulting injury affected the left-hand side of his body which greatly impacted his life in every way.
Matt had heard good things about Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre from the local hospital and he was anxious to get a bed there as soon as possible. Upon arrival he shared that he was immediately impressed with how different it was from the ward he had been staying in previously –he has his own room, with furniture and a working television, and there were areas to spend time with other people and support each other by sharing progress stories, which immensely helped with his mental health and gave him hope for recovery.
When Matt arrived at Frenchay he could stand with assistance but could not walk, and his left arm was not functional. After some assessments he was given an orthotic to help him walk, as his knee hyper-extended and his ankle dropped. He was also given a shoulder support to help the sub-luxation in his left shoulder which helped ease his pain immensely. Matt also had left-side deficit and struggled to recognise social cues (e.g. when someone was wanting to leave or waiting his turn in conversation). Within just a few weeks of arriving at Frenchay, Matt was able to call his wife and tell her that he had taken his first few steps – something which the doctors who had looked after him previously did not think would ever happen. Upon leaving Frenchay, Matt was able to walk again using a quad stick, and his left-side deficit had improved greatly.
Matt says ‘I wouldn’t be where I am today without the input from the staff – everyone was helpful and friendly and always had time for me. I felt as though everyone was focused on my rehabilitation and encouraged me every step of the way. It’s been a long journey (and it’s not over yet), but now I can take care of myself with little input from others and I ‘m back at work and enjoying playing board games with friends again. It seems like hard work, but everyone will make sure you get out as much as you put in.’