Christy tells us about the accident that left her brain injured, her rehabilitation, and how Bluebird Care supports her to lead a fulfilling life.
"On 3rd December 2015, whilst walking home from work, I was hit by a car. I was only 18 years old!
The gentleman driving was 89 years old, didn’t have his lights on and didn’t even realise he had hit me, so carried on driving.
My injuries were severe and emergency services saved my life at the side of the road. My accident was featured on BBC’s An Hour to Save Your Life - Series 3, Episode 2 (y
ou can find a link to the video at the bottom).
I suffered significant brain injury and was in an induced coma for 2 months. The surgeons performed a Craniectomy – which essentially means they removed the front part of my skull to allow my brain to swell, and put it in my stomach to keep it alive until the swelling had reduced and it would be reattached to my head.
Upon coming out of my coma, I stayed in hospital where I undertook intense rehabilitation therapy for a whole year. Thinking about what I had lost, I felt more depressed and vulnerable than ever. I suffered with chronic fatigue and I had no control over anything. I was less able to do what I wanted and I was unable to make decisions for myself.
I have come a long way since my accident and I now live in my own home, and receive support from various organisations, to live my life to the fullest.
There is no quick fix with my rehabilitation, but with Bluebird Care Bristol’s support I have a sense of purpose and reason. I no longer feel like a clinically obese, brain injured nobody. I’m a person who is worth spending time with. I really value that Bluebird’s Care assistants continue to come back. They’ve helped me build confidence as a person and they’ve enabled me to do the things I want to do. I generally receive support in the evening where the carer will come to my home at 6pm and complete a sleep-in shift until morning. If the weather is nice, we’ll go to the park, if it’s not, we’ll stay in and chat or watch programmes.
It’s really great when Bluebird Care find the right carers for me, where we can form a close bond and rapport and where we can share similar interests and they know what is important to me.
My current carer Montanna totally gets me! It doesn’t feel like she’s ‘working’ when she’s supporting me, which is great. My ‘worth’ bar has increased. Montanna is such a help – she’s amazing, sensitive, understanding, patient and a friend, and she snapped straight into the role".
Christy (Bluebird Care customer)
“We started supporting Christy in May 2017. It was a really great opportunity for us to expand on the type of care we provide and to support a younger person with a different range of needs. Previous to Christy, our customer base was predominately elderly. To gain a greater understanding of brain injury and the impact this can have on individuals has been both insightful and humbling. We support Christy 4 times per week, to support and encourage her to partake in healthy and balanced life choices, and provide companionship, allowing her to lead a full and active life".
Claire Nolan, Area Care Manager (Bluebird Care Bristol, Bath & NE Somerset)
You can view BBC’s An Hour to Save Your Life - Series 3, Episode 2, featuring Christy here
Christy’s scenes are shown during the following timings -
2:20 – 5:40 minutes in
15:40 – 19:25 minutes in
25:52 – 30:16 minutes in
37:47 – 41:30 minutes in
44:00 – 47:30 minutes in
56:00 – 57:55 minutes in