​Action on Brain Injury week highlights the need for expert support for survivors

The mother of a boy who received a serious head injury following a cycling accident has praised CPFT's Cambridge Centre for Paediatric Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (CCPNR) for helping her son Jordan to get back to school and live an independent life. 

​Action on Brain Injury week highlights the need for expert support for survivors
19 May 2017

A national survey released by Headway last week to mark Action on Brain Injury Week found that 74% of brain injury survivors feel like ‘a new person’ following their injury. This experience is common among young people with brain injury and an experience 16-year-old, Jordan Dowen, can relate to. Jordan has been supported by CPFT's Cambridge Centre for Paediatric Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (CCPNR), after suffering a brain injury due to an accident on his push bike just before Christmas 2015 outside his school in Norfolk.

“Basically it feels like I’m ...a different person because I know how I was before and I feel like I’m the same but I know there are some things that are different,” Jordan said.

After his accident, Jordan was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital by the East Anglian Air Service which was piloted by Prince William. He remained in a coma for several weeks, but recovered well and was able to return home to Hunstanton.

Jordan was referred to CCPNR to have an in-depth assessment of the impact of his brain injury on his functioning. The Cambridge Centre for Paediatric Neuropsychological Rehabilitation is a community based specialist service for children and young people with a brain injury. It is an innovative specialist service, the first of its kind in the UK. The interdisciplinary team provides support and intervention in the community and at school. The aim is develop a shared understanding of the young person’s and family’s needs in order to work as a team to achieve meaningful goals. The assessments highlighted particular strengths and vulnerabilities for Jordan.

Jordan said: “It takes me longer to read and understand things. Sometimes I have trouble with speech, sometimes I can’t physically get the words out, sometimes I say something similar but it wasn’t the word I was trying to get out, which is really annoying. I find it difficult to explain normal things like what I’ve done over the course of the day. Going through the day, I just get tired and fatigued. My fuse has got a lot shorter. There’s nothing in between 0 and 100 (normal – anger!). Concentrating for a long time can be hard, sometimes I just drift off."

The expert assessments Jordan received from the CCPNR team of clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapist and specialist teacher and neurologist has, as his mother Joanne says, “been a crucial piece of the jigsaw in terms of getting a special healthcare plan at school”.

Jordan recently gave a presentation to his College about his story and how he can best be supported at school with help from one of the CCPNR staff, Trainee Clinical Psychologist, Gina Gomez de la Cuesta, who Joanne says “really tuned into him”. In spite of Jordan’s difficulties, he has an incredibly positive attitude to life and has recently got a job as a lifeguard.

Pictured: Jordan fixing a water pump in Malawi (August 2016).

 

ENDS

Contact details
For more information please contact:
Adrian Ient
Communications Manager
E adrian.ient@cpft.nhs.uk 
T 01223 219470

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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