Wednesday, 11 September 2019, 4:18 pm
Regaining confidence and life skills following a traumatic brain injury
Gregory was living an active life as a young, fit and sporty physical education teacher. In late October 2018, Gregory was riding his motorbike down River Road, Greenwich in Sydney when he came off and slid into a guardrail, leaving him with a traumatic brain injury.
Once Gregory was medically stabilised, he was transferred to Royal Rehab’s Brain Injury Unit, where the skilled multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals facilitated Gregory’s rehabilitation recovery. The team is lead by a rehabilitation specialist who oversees specialist nurses, speech pathologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists.
“When I first arrived at Royal Rehab, I was wheelchair bound. I’ve had to relearn basic skills such as how to walk, shower and speak again,” said Gregory.
An individually tailored rehabilitation program was developed to suit Gregory’s individual goals and work towards achieving those goals. Gregory explained that family means everything to him. They give him constant motivation to work hard in rehab and be in a position where he is physically fit enough to enjoy one of the big joys in his life – playing and interacting with his five nephews and nieces.
Six months into his rehabilitation program at Royal Rehab, Gregory has made great progress across a range of areas. Through occupational therapy, he became independent in many of his daily activities including feeding himself using his right arm, making meals, cooking for a small group, showering and dressing.
Physiotherapy has helped Gregory to walk independently. Gregory took up recumbent cycling with supervision of his recreational therapist and he also started swimming to boost his physical fitness in line with his rehabilitation program.
“The rehab process has been challenging, as things that I used to do quite easily are now a lot harder, having patience and tolerance is really important and any progress that is made is a great feeling.”
Gregory got involved with Royal rehab’s adaptive sport, recreation and leisure program. This program assists clients to return to sport or activities that they love through using assistive or adaptive equipment to suit each person’s disability. Gregory attended a beach access day, while in rehab, enabling him to enjoy the ocean and get back to activities that he enjoys.
Gregory’s brain injury severely impacted his communication skills and Royal Rehab’s speech pathologists were integral to his rehabilitation, developing tailored programs to support Gregory. Through Gregory’s hard work and determination, he has now increased his respiratory capacity and is able to maintain speech volume suitable for all types of environments such as one-to-one interactions and in-group conversations.
Gregory has been participating in News Group, which is a social communication group where clients read, summarise, and discuss news stories. The group provides an opportunity to practice social and cognitive-communication skills including reading comprehension, topic maintenance and turn taking. The group is facilitated by two speech pathologists who provide structured feedback during and after the group to all clients.
“I’ve really been enjoying attending news group and practicing what I’ve learnt in therapy in a group setting. It’s given me a lot more confidence,” said Gregory.
“The rehab staff have been so positive, helpful and approachable along my rehabilitation journey and so knowledgeable. I would recommend anyone and everyone to Royal Rehab – it’s a great place to come for rehabilitation.”
Gregory returned home six months post injury, empowered with higher levels of independence and confidence, and looking forward to his future.