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  • My name is Pat. Since my retirement I had been doing a variety of things to keep me from becoming bored.

    As a result of a chance meeting with a lady whom I did not know well, I called in to visit the charity where she worked. This charity is known as Head Injury Support.

    When I was shown around the centre, I remember being impressed by the premises but more important than that, I was really impressed by the warm family atmosphere of the place and by the survivors. These survivors, who for the most part have experienced very traumatic and life-changing events, face each day with remarkable resilience, courage and good humour. I sometimes wonder if I had endured the same events would I react in the same way as these admirable people. Often I am surprised by how these survivors have such a good long-term memory and how adaptable the human brain is when it has been injured.

    I now regard these survivors as my friends and I love socialising and working with them. Volunteering with Head Injury is a very fulfilling way of spending some time and I would encourage any one to consider devoting some time to this very worthy charity.

    I intend volunteering with this charity for several years and I would once again say that my life has been enriched by my association with these survivors.

  • James' recovery has amazed all the doctors that had dealings with him in the early months after his accident.  I can remember how daunting it was when he first came home in November 2011.  We had spent so long in the hospital surrounded by nurses and doctors and now here we were on our own. 

    This was a particularly tough time for us and the entire family circle but the whole experience has taught me a lot.  I wanted to use my experiences of head injury, and of caring for someone,  to help those who hadn't as good a recovery as James. 

    Head Injury Support is an excellent organisation.  It provides help and support to carers by organising events where they can come together with other carers and talk about issues they are facing.  Throughout the year there are also activities organised to help us learn new skills and just have some "me" time. 

    An excellent programme of activities is also available for the brain injury survivors, In safe surroundings, in the company of others who understand all the challenges they face on a day to day basis. 

    The atmosphere in Head Injury Support is fantastic.  I really enjoy my Thursdays there and find it is a real "escape" from the normal working week and the stresses that go along with that.

    If you are considering volunteering I would encourage you to drop in and see what goes on.  I can assure you that you will receive a warm welcome.

  • My name is Moya Murphy and I am a Brain Injury Survivor.

    In September 2005 at the age of 32 I acquired a brain injury due difficulties I had with an aneurysm.After 2 1/2 weeks on Life Support, Emergency brain surgery three times, pneumonia, septicemia  & MRSA, I thought my life was over I lost one third of my body weight and was paralyzed down my left hand side. Unable to swallow, walk drive, work or live independently I thought my life was over. The doctors told my parents that I would need 24 hour care & days a week.

    Thankfully I found the people in Head Injury Support, they gave me the hope, the ambition, the drive I needed to get my life back again.

    Now ten years later i'm doing so many things, I never dreamed were possible.  I have been driving again for 6 years I'm moving into my own house & I'm doing a Diploma in Social & Life sciences in SRC Newry. When I complete my Diploma I hope to go to University and become a Psychologist.

    I can not thank Head Injury support enough, for everything they have done for me & my family over the years.

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