Meet our Headway member, Gerald

How did you first get involved with Headway?

I first got involved with Headway Glasgow sometime after being discharged from Wishaw General Hospital after being diagnosed with Viral Encephalitis.  It was sometime maybe October or November 2019 I first contacted the main offices down south via online website. With Glasgow perhaps December or January before I could find a contact to speak too. 

How has Headway helped you since your acquired brain injury?

Headway Glasgow have helped me in numerous ways, simply having the opportunity to speak and communicate with fellow survivors was a great insight into coping with new challenges.  In practical ways Heritage Glasgow has improved my abilities to communicate both verbally and in writing. My self-confidence has been improved by learning to accept changes in my health and learning ways to adapt. Access to equipment for communication has been great. Also assisting me to settle to new accommodation has been good in terms of settling in and sustainable tenancy. 

What are your favourite activities at Headway and why?

Most if not all activities have been via online platforms at present.  I have been enjoying the Art group at times as it has gave me opportunity to be creative and express myself. The quizzes have been good too exercise my mind. I have been wanting to do some of the walking groups but that’s been difficult due to covid 19 restrictions and access too travel.

What have been the biggest challenges for you having an ABI?

The biggest challenges of an ABI have been quite varied. The initial coordination of limbs was an issue, my concentration and communication has been difficult and impacted upon my confidence and mental health. Finding support has been a massive challenge as I felt little to no support offered to me upon discharge from hospital care. 

What is something you wish people knew about having an ABI?

I have found the biggest problem has been that reality that an ABI is hidden from view, “To the outside world I look the same, but its only people who knew me before encephalitis who may notice a difference. I am not always able to make new memories, especially if I have only met someone or experienced something once or twice. This can be embarrassing but my family, friends and colleagues accept this as part of me.”