Recovery has a different meaning when it comes to brain injury, as it is something that will probably last for the rest of Jamie’s life. He will never fully ‘recover’ but will also never stop pushing himself to improve and reach his goals and I have watched him continually progress in the years since his injury.
Jamie is a living example that recovery from brain injury does not stop a year from the point of injury which is a common myth that is shockingly still spoken as medical fact by some professionals.
In the two years since Jamie was discharged from rehab, he has progressed from using a wheelchair to walking with a stick, his cognitive and emotional awareness has vastly improved and he recently starting riding his BMX again, and and volunteering 3 times a week in a bike shop.
Obviously the key thing to realise is that no two brain injuries present themselves in the same way and neither do their recovery paths, however I believe it is key for families and loved ones to stay hopeful and do everything in their power to help and support them on this journey.
We wanted to show Jamie’s recovery path through the images and videos that I took while he was in hospital, as a way to document his progress and also to look back and see how far he had come.
When you’re climbing a mountain, sometimes you have to turn and look back to remember how far you’ve come.
So this is Jamie. These images were actually taken in August 2011 for an article in a BMX magazine called The Albion. And this was one of the first pictures that I posted up above his hospital bed when he was in intensive care.
This is Jamie when he was first admitted to Kings College Hospital intensive care ward.
The first time Jamie sat upright with the physios, since he started emerging from the coma.
Jamie on the standing board.
Me and Jamie in Ladywell park, on one of our daily walks while he was in Lewisham hospital.
Me and my best friend Alanda making a fuss over Jamie.
Jamie in one of his early physio sessions when he needed lots of support to sit up.
The physios trying to engage Jamie in simple activities like reaching for a ball/beanbag.
Me and jamie in the park; at this stage he was still very unresponsive and couldn’t yet communicate with us.
Jamie getting help in the standing hoist to get him on his feet.
a still from a video I took of Jamie eating his first banana – 3 months after the injury.
Jamie walking with a harness and parallel bars.
This was taken right after Jamie said his first word in 5 months- notice my make up running down my face from crying! I helped him to record a message for his parents; at this early stage I had to say the word for him to copy, but with intensive speech therapy he could soon manage full sentences on his own.
Jamie standing on his own for the first time in rehab
the first time Jamie was able to smile, 3 months following the brain injury
Me and Jamie practising facial expressions.
Jamie’s friends visiting in rehab with the ‘Ghetto BMX’ t shirts they made for him.
Me and Jamie on one of our daily Skype sessions in the evening.
Celebrating our engagement at the local pub when J was still in rehab.
On a well needed break to Brighton.
Picnic in the park!
Jamie turning 25!