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19 May 2022 | Comment | Article by Cari Sowden-Taylor

Acquired Brain Injury Week 2022: Now you see me, now you don’t

So many of Cari Sowden-Taylor’s clients refer to their traumatic brain injuries as a ‘hidden’ or ‘invisible’ disability and this year the brain injury charity, Headway, has chosen to raise awareness of the difficulties individuals with brain injuries suffer in this regard.

Not all disabilities are visible, acquired brain injury week

“See the Hidden Me” is the focus for this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week 2022 (16- 22 May 2022) which raises awareness and understanding of the often misunderstood symptoms of a brain injury. It is hoped that by focusing on this issue it will help to alleviate the challenges and frustrations that survivors face.

The campaign gives a voice to brain injury survivors so friends, families, colleagues and professionals gain a better insight into the invisible battles they may face every day.

Cari Sowden-Taylor, a Partner in the Neurolaw team comments:

“I was recently speaking with the grandmother of a client of mine about ABI week and the focus being “See the hidden me”. Her grandson would struggle to articulate his difficulties given the extent of his injuries, but she has written an incredibly moving poem which encapsulates the difficulties experienced by both the injured person and close family members after traumatic brain injury.”

She has consented to the poem being shared.

Now you see me, now you don’t

Small tiny glimpses of you. Like a light as switched on and you are here…you remember things.

Then the vacant stare…we can see the confusion.

Those brief, sometimes seconds, you are back then gone again into the mass of crossed wires, lost in the maze of your mind and memories.

The deep ache in our hearts when we see your struggle to be ‘normal’…then witness your anger and frustration of feeling you have little or no control in some of life’s decisions.

Physically perfect…so why are we unable to understand why just 1 extra gram of rice can ruin your day completely and cause you such turmoil in your mind…the one thing you can control…how much you exercise…how much you eat…

On, Off, Here, Gone…..every second a different reaction…all the while confused. How can those around you, even some family members, not see you are lost. Frozen in another time that you are unable to remember….yet for all your suffering some can still show little or no compassion towards you…even blaming you for what you may have said or done.

The Boy…The Man…The Child…which one is here in this moment?

When we speak to you as a Boy but in that moment you are a Man…or when we speak to you as a Man but in that moment you are a Child…we also need to make split second choices…like you….we also live in moments trapped inside a memory of how it was and how it is…but not in measurements of days, weeks months or years…but seconds.

Many positive changes and independent moments….but not permanent….we call them LIGHTBULB moments…..

On…off…here…gone…but best of all… HERE and we are forever grateful to everyone who was and is still involved in your journey back to life .

Get advice

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury and you require legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly and approachable specialist solicitors on 02922 67 58 70. The Serious Injury Team was awarded UK Catastrophic Injury Team of the Year 2021/22.

Author bio

Cari is a Partner and Joint Head of the National Serious Injury Team, and specialises in representing adult and child claimants who have sustained life changing injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, limb loss and polytrauma following road traffic collisions, injuries at work and assaults.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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