Living with a Disordered Brain

Last night pretty much at the last minute I got the chance to attend a talk in the ScienceGallery which was hosted by the science gallery and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience as part of Brain Awareness Week.

B.A.W. is an international campaign for raising public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research. It has been running for the last 12 year and this years theme is “Living with a neurological condition: The impact on families and carers”.

The panel which was on living with brain injury was part of Brain Awareness Week a to promote the work of headway.

The panelists were:

Professor Ian Robertson – leading brain expert and author, who spoke about how complex the brain is, how much is not known and a brain injury can often lead to living a different life but different doesn’t’ mean bad just different.

Allison Bingham who has brain injury and struggled for year to get a grasp on what has happening to her in her life but still kept determindedly living her live on her terms getting married and having children and who is no a Headway Board Member who attends Headway’s Rehabilitative Training Centre in Limerick helping to support others.

Ger Robinson who is a Family carer and had to become so when her husband Greg, suffered brain injury in a car accident and who spoke so opening about the changes it caused in her family’s life and the impact on her children and the support she and her family have gotten form headway.

and Christy Kenneally author of a number of books, including “Life after Loss” who spoke to all the carers about how to be real and not take on too much, how to use their angry and make it work for them to be sad to be as real as they can and not let anyone undermine them or put them on pedestals.

Last night I certainly got more then I ever bargained for. My Dad has epilepsy he sustained it due to a brain injury a few scant months before he was married and I was born shortly after.I have grown up with a parent who has a brain injury ( which is more then just the epilepsy ) and never grasped how much of an impact that has had on my own life, esp over the last 2 years as he has also suffered strokes. All of which brought sharply into focus for me what headway do.

There are so many differing and diverse services all over the country all of which can be hard to learn about and acess and part of what headway to do to put people in touch with them and to offer support services ranging from the helpline to rehab centers to socail and support groups.

As hard and horrible as having to suddenly be facing having a brain injury or a family member with a brain injury having other people who have been through the rollercoaster and who can listen and share thier story and make suggestions from having been there can make a big difference.

Headway lo-call National Information and Support Telephone Helpline (1890 200 278) operates Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm to answer questions on all aspects of acquired brain injury, or to provide a listening ear where needed. You can also contact us through email on

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