David's story

David was a 45 year old man (in July 2015) from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire who worked as a freelance IT security consultant.  He experienced a severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) following a collision between a car and his bicycle while on a leisure ride in Nantwich, Cheshire.  In a comatose state, David was airlifted to the nearest major trauma centre (Royal Stoke hospital) whereupon a neurosurgeon operated to relieve the pressure building up from a blood clot on his brain.  David was consistently assessed as having a Glasgow Coma Scale value of 3 (severe) during the 2 weeks following his TBI.  David emerged from his comatose state after a further 2 weeks in the critical care unit, whereupon he exhibited locked-in syndrome symptoms for a week.  David spent 8 weeks in a specialist rehabilitation centre, before being discharged to home.  In summary, David spent a total of 14 weeks in NHS care following his TBI.

Despite what he described as fantastic support from the NHS, David said it was only after coming home that he understood he was embarking on what he now calls the "real journey" of recovery.  David was incapable of doing anything other than get through each day during the first nine months back in what he called "the real world".  David recognised that he needed a new purpose in life, so in June 2016 he began pursuing opportunities to undertake voluntary work.  David started in a charity shop sorting clothes, then took up a befriending role with senior citizens via the Royal Voluntary Service.  David progressed to become an "IT buddy" at his local library, enabling him to share some of his legacy IT skills as well utilise his newfound capacity for empathy.

In July 2017 after a year of volunteering, David returned to professional work as an IT security consultant with the Metropolitan Police Service in London, where David had been working at the time of his TBI.  The Met had pursued David’s availability over the previous 2 years, during which time he didn’t feel capable of returning, so his eventual acceptance was unexpected and unplanned for.  David was surprised to find that despite having countless other limitations as a consequence of his TBI, he had lost very little of the expert IT security skills he'd had prior to the TBI.  David worked on a further number of freelancing engagements for other customers around the UK before retiring in July 2019.

Following his professional retirement, David became involved in voluntary work again.  He is currently (in 2020) engaged in charity work supporting the elderly with “tech”, as well as taking on a friend / mentor role with NHS TBI patients experiencing their own brain trauma "fog".  David is also involved in university / NHS research evaluating how best to get people who have experienced TBI back to a position where they can resume work.

David is now 50 years of age and content with his lot in life.  David still has numerous limitations as a consequence of the TBI, but chooses to focus on the positives.

If you feel David’s TBI experiences may be of interest to you, perhaps browse the web-site www.ineededtobeneeded.com which he created to keep a record of his recovery, and hopefully give hope to people experiencing their own trauma fog.