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Wendy’s Lockdown Story

What you have managed to deliver throughout lockdown and this year has been nothing short of amazing.

Before Wendy sustained her injury she was a senior manager for a global IT company. Her role involved a lot of national and international travel , often spending 3 nights a week or more away from home. She co managed a team of 23 IT consultants working on a variety of projects and helped with the certification exam process for a major IT manufacturer. 

In April 2017 strange things started to happen where I’d forget how to speak or walk and sometimes my hands would move on their own but it didn’t last long and I could reason my way out of it, so I didn’t think anything of it and carried on as normal … I now know these were focal seizures relating to my tumour.

Wendy, Headway Leicester member

In July 2019 Wendy received her diagnosis and her world was turned upside down. A tumour was found on the left side of her brain. In September that year she lost her job after 19 years.

 

After two weeks in hospital Wendy was admitted to Leicester General Hospital Neuro rehab ward where she underwent three months of intense focussed Neuro rehab, learning to stand, sit and walk again as well as undergoing OT and cognitive tests. During her time on the ward Wendy was introduced to Headway Outreach Worker Julie Page.  

I was basically on autopilot, trying to be how I was before my surgery. Trying to walk and think was almost impossible, I was exhausted after a couple of steps.

Wendy

Fast forward to February 2020, Wendy was discharged and returned home.

 

Then lockdown started, and everything stopped… not that It made a massive difference to me … I was struggling with my new way life, frustrated with what I now found difficult, the loss of independence due to mobility issues and not being able to drive, not being able to cope with loud noises busy places, to be honest I still do.

Tree of Life session with Angela Gordon our in house Specialist Neurological Occupational Therapist

I started attending sessions at the Digital Day Centre during lockdown, my first session was Angela’s Occupational Therapy group.

 

I was greeted by so many friendly faces… and they ALL knew exactly what I felt like and how things were affecting me… it made me realise I was almost killing myself trying to do too much and not helping myself recover in the meantime.

We all call each other if we need a chat, our Headway family, (yes I call them that) brought together by unfortunate circumstances but are stronger together.

"The arts and crafts kits have shown me things that i would never have even attempted before lockdown, and shown me different avenues that i can explore, potentially enabling me to setup a small business in the future"

Karen, Day Service Manager, asked if there was any activities I would like to try at home and I mentioned I’d like to do some needle felting. Headway supplied a starter kit, Karen gave me a 1-1 lesson via Zoom and I was hooked!

 

Headway has helped me find my creative side, from felting, drawing and painting, clay workshops, creative writing, allowing me to focus and be mindful. We also have get together sessions, like film club, music club and coffee and catch-up where we all get together and discuss how our week has been.

Please support us so we can be there for more survivors like Wendy and her family.

Julie my outreach worker and counsellor has helped me to understand so much on dealing with my brain injury. The feelings of anger frustration, how to speak to my husband (who tends to bear the brunt of these) helping me communicate with him so he can understand how I feel both physically mentally and emotionally. Our bond was strong before, with what we have been through but now I think our bond is now stronger than ever.

Wendy

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