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Gary

Initially admitted to Salisbury District Hospital in April 2016, having survived a complication from an advanced stage of diabetes, Gary could not remember the 48 hours prior to waking up in hospital. At that time he was unable to speak or to move and it wasn’t clear what his prospects were for recovery.

However within three weeks, miraculously (according to Gary) he began to speak again and although he had lost a lot of muscle tone, he was able to mobilise again.

Gary was admitted to Glenside in May for short-term intensive rehabilitation, after his partner who had done some online research discussed the possibility with the SDH team of a referral to Glenside as a local specialist provider of neuro rehabilitation.

During the initial assessment period, Gary participated in assessment to develop a personalised care plan to target his identified weaknesses and to help him find ways to compensate for the difficulties he experienced after the brain injury. Dr Koko Naing, Glenside’s Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, reviewed Gary’s medication to continue the work done by the SDH team who had stabilised Gary’s Diabetes and Gary worked with the nursing team to develop the skills to manage his diabetes independently again.

Gary met with the dietician at Glenside to review his nutritional needs in light of the fact that he had lost a lot of weight, dropping down to 63 kilos.

Gary worked with the Physio team concentrating on balance and muscle strength to improve his mobility.

Gary participated in assessment with the occupational and psychology teams to understand more about his cognitive strengths and weaknesses. He was then supported by his team to develop memory and organisational strategies. Although initially he was disorientated with regards to time and required prompts to engage in sessions, Gary is now able to prepare for and attend the majority of his sessions independently using his diary.

Initially, a key barrier to rehabilitation was fatigue. Gary worked with the Psychology team to learn more about fatigue after brain injury and identify management strategies. He then collaboratively wrote a care plan to let other people know how they could support him with his fatigue.

To work towards his long term goal of returning to work, the OT team supported Gary to focus on the various cognitive skills that underpin many work roles. For example, Gary knew what his signature should look like but couldn’t remember how to sign his name. More recently, Gary has applied for a voluntary role with the Trussell Trust project to enable him to rebuild his work skills.

Gary feels that there is always someone who is worse off than you are and now wants to get more involved in voluntary work to give back to those less able than he is.

During this intensive rehabilitation period, Gary made significant progress by regaining his pre-illness weight, relearning how to walk unaided and to manage his diabetes independently again. Having achieved these goals, Gary has since transferred from Glenside’s hospital Neuro Rehab Unit (NRU) into the simulated supported living bungalows of Horizon Close, where he can live a relatively independent life.

Gary says “I have been very lucky as I have made a remarkable recovery and I am very thankful to the team at Glenside, as all my needs have been fulfilled and Glenside has exceeded my expectations. The work that everyone has put in to make my recovery journey so comfortable has been amazing.”

He also talks extremely highly of the Glenside “Peer Support Group” organised by the Psychology team to give service users the chance to speak openly about their experiences and share their coping skills. Gary said it has been invaluable to him to have a network of likeminded people to share things with and talk things through. As everyone has a unique experience and different ways of dealing with the challenges they have to face following a brain injury. Gary hopes to be discharged to live back home early in 2017.