Kelly Christie – Life 10 years after a brain injury

In the accident we were travelling to the
next town when we came around a corner and ended up on the other side of the road head
on with a minibus. Little things came up every day like even forgetting
to put the washing machine on after I’d put it in, taking it out, forgetting to feed
myself. It’s just little things you wouldn’t ever really think about in your life. I remembered about my daughter but generally
after the accident, it was a little just like who are you as she had just became my carer,
just this little adult that knew more about life than I did. Generally, just trying to find everything
in your head is like a filing cabinet that has been smashed into smithereens and putting
it all back together. I just sort of became a recluse, in my own
little bubble for a while. I suppose by then the depression had kicked in quite bad as
it was like well this is it, life is over, I’m going to constantly need this and need
people do this and to help me go places, and to do things. And I just thought it wasn’t
much of a life for anybody. I feel like everything changed for everybody
as I was no longer the person I used to be and I didn’t know who I was now.
But I kind of felt like when I started with Digby Brown they were pulling me out and there
was light at the end of the tunnel. When I got that interim payment the care started
there and then because the money was there. I didn’t have the money there to be paying
for things privately. Within probably the first month everybody saw a massive difference
in me, even I saw a difference. The fact I had specialist brain injury people
who knew what they were talking about, they knew what could and might happen, what I needed
definitely, definitely helped. I knew they were fighting my case and knew they could help me and were doing everything they could to do the best for me really. I was not making it back as a chef, there
was no way. I could throw of a 100 meals quite easily, working under pressure but now,
even 10 years down the line I don’t cook. I had gone to work in the nail salon where
I had been getting my nails done. That was amazing, I loved it, I was skipping to work
every morning in my uniform on, this is just great so I thought okay maybe it’s time
to get training so I started working in the salon voluntary. I’ve always liked doing nails and never
ever thought I would be confident enough to do it or anything like that generally. I worked for about a year in that salon and
then opened my own so I had that about 3 years and carried on training to the highest level
and can’t go any higher with my training now. The compensation, once I got it, definitely
helped me out my recovery because I was able to pay for what I needed. I spent more than half my money on care, and
if I didn’t spend that money I wouldn’t be where I am today never mind anywhere else. Now it’s just me making money and having
a normal life really.

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