Marathon Challenge and Raising Awareness

October 8, 2014

My neuropsychologist told me it would take years to recover from the haemorrhage. The bulk of brain recovery is in the first 2 years. Small improvements may be felt after that. I never believed it could take as long as that, but it did.

I’m pleased to say I’m still seeing improvements. Never give up hope that things can get better.

October 9, 2014

The longer I am living with my new brain the easier life is becoming. During my recovery I have learnt to adjust whilst it is repairing. Adjustments to my lifestyle and using coping strategies have made the world of difference to my mood and overall performance. I highly recommend investing your time into wellbeing and self-care activities.

October 10, 2014

My recovery has been built on health and fitness. Fundraisers and personal challenges have helped me enjoy life and given me a positive focus. In the next 6 months, running up to my third-year milestone, I am going to take on my biggest challenge to date!

I will be posting my progress and sharing my experiences with the aim to inspire others affected by brain injury.

October 12, 2014

Ready to start my ’26 week marathon challenge’ with a one-mile swim.

This should be fun – I couldn’t swim at the start of my recovery and had forgotten that you can exhale under water! I have been extremely determined to improve and trained persistently for months to build the confidence to attempt my longest swim to date. I want this to be an example that good things can still be achieved if you work hard and never give up!  





October 14, 2014

Take each day as it comes during your brain recovery. Some days will be a real struggle, especially during early recovery. It may take a long time to make sense of your new brain. Try not to put any unnecessary pressure on yourself and remain positive.

October 15, 2014

I went back to neurosurgical ward 4/40 today. It’s always nice to go back and see the staff that provided fantastic care. I spoke to them about a brain recovery page that I had created on Facebook. The page is a timeline of my recovery which gives an insight into brain injury recovery. I have included the highs, lows and everything in between. The aim is to offer hope and inspiration to other people affected. I asked the hospital staff if they would raise awareness to patients and their families.

I was pleased to get the opportunity to speak to a couple of patients on the ward. I chatted with their loved ones to share my experience and pass on wisdom. It was really nice for me to be in a position where I could do this – positive progress!

October 18, 2014

Pleased to say that I completed a two-mile row for my challenge. It was great to have my family supporting. I pushed myself and achieved a new personal best!

Remember – things can get better … always believe in yourself.




October 22, 2014

These are key during recovery…

October 24, 2014

I had a great afternoon with my consultant and staff at Neuro Ward 4/40. They gave me the thumbs up for my Facebook recovery page. This poster will be going up on the ward and will be handed out to patients and families upon discharge. It felt amazing to see the posters on the ward where I had once been so fragile. Every time I go back I feel stronger.

October 25, 2014

You can’t beat a nice autumn morning in East Park. I Completed a three-mile run in 21.10mins as part of my challenge. Onwards and upwards!



October 26, 2014

I would never have imagined I would be standing with my consultant and staff doing this! It just shows how much things can improve.

October 27, 2014

Something that I had noticed during my recovery is that I felt a really big dip mentally, if I missed a meal. It would expose my weaknesses. Pre-brain injury I could miss a meal and still be able to function at a good level. It’s not possible anymore. My thinking abilities and mood are affected greatly. To ensure I operate at a good level I need to make sure I have regular meals with adequate nutrients.

This is something to think about if you or a loved one are going through recovery.

I researched foods that are good for the brain and made an effort to include them in my meals. I saw them as natural medicine. This was a way of helping myself the best I could.

P.A.U.L For Brain Recovery has a Brainfood & Recipe Guide that is full of useful information. Click here to download:

Brainfood Guide

October 28, 2014

We all know how music can have a positive effect on our lives. During my recovery I found it had a significant effect on my mood. Listening to music was therapy throughout my recovery. I would recommend making a playlist of favourite tracks to listen to.

Music has an effect on all different areas of the brain. You will always feel the music.

October 29, 2014

One of the consequences of my injury is that it takes me longer to process information. Throughout my recovery I have struggled with sudden/rushed ‘on the spot’ thinking or changes of plans. If something happened suddenly that I hadn’t anticipated, it felt like a major catastrophe. This could be as simple as a change in time or plan to meet. This could lead to agitation/frustration and I would feel overwhelmed and upset.

If you know someone who has trouble with processing information this is something to think about. If you can try and stick to plans or give plenty of notice to any changes to them.

October 30, 2014

I had a good time at the cinema with Reece. We watched the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie. My attention span is so much better than a year ago! I was able to watch it properly and followed the story, which was brilliant for me.

I really recognised the difference and it feels great! This wouldn’t have been possible a year ago.

Positive improvements are still happening … never lose hope.