Survivors' Stories

Naomi’s Story

Brain Injury: Large right frontal extradural haematoma

Brain Surgery: Right frontal craniotomy and evacuation of EDH

Date: 21st February 2013

It was a cold February night and I was visiting my friend in York at the time, we went out for the night with a couple of his friends. I’m going to let you know here that I have absolutely no memory of the accident… I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and tripped over my own feet. The next morning, well the next evening (around 16:00) someone woke my friend up and told him “there’s some blood you need to clean” and left. My friend was confused by this and went to take a look, he was not expecting what he saw… So much blood. A pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs, blood on the stairs and blood on the wall. He then tried to wake me, once I was awake I was slurring my speech and throwing up, he called an ambulance.

I have a few seconds of blurred memories from that evening:

• I went for a shower (I don’t remember the shower but I know I went for one)

• I threw up a lot of times. I know now that I was throwing up brown stomach bile

• The ambulance came. The paramedic looked in my eyes and said something about a concussion.

• My last memory is throwing up in the ambulance and apologising.

The next thing I remember is waking up in the ICU at Hull Hospital after my surgery.

Now, it gets quite scary from here. Something I haven’t been able to get over:

My sister said I called her twice while waiting in the hospital. I said “I’m in A&E I fell down the stairs” and then about a minute later I said “I’m in A&E and I don’t know why” she rang my mum. When she called back we had a conversation for about half an hour. Then all of sudden she said it went silent and all she heard was people shouting. I assume I passed out. Not only that but the fact I was alone in hospital for god knows how long and I went for a CT scan that I have no memory of scares the hell out of me even to this day.

I don’t remember much from my hospital days, I slept a lot and ate bad food. My friends and family came to visit every day. I remember there was a draining tube in my brain and when they pulled it out I was scared, rightly so – it felt horrible.

I had a bad black eye due to the fall. I later learnt that I had a fractured skull and jaw.

I went home 5 days later. My mum stayed with me to look after me, she was incredible. After 3 days I was violently sick and threw up about 20 times. I was rushed to A&E, was given fluids to re-hydrate me and admitted for a week and a half. This night they came to do some tests to see how I was. I could only walk about 2 steps and this was with the help of my mum and a doctor.

One thing I’ll never forget? Getting staples pulled out of my head. There’s nothing else to say on that really.

I went home and my mum stayed with me for 2 months. She was so amazing during this time (and still is now) if it wasn’t for her my recovery process would have been almost impossible. We even made headbands together to cover my scar when I was in public.

I’ve had a lot of appointments since then, including:

• Neuropsychological Assessment

• Memory Tests

• Occupational Therapy

• Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

• Group Therapy

• CT Scans

• Maxxillo-Facial Surgery

Charities and Services I’ve used:

• Northumberland Head Injuries

Changing Lives – Momentum


Talking Matters Northumberland

Problems I’m currently living with:

• Chronic fatigue – This is the one thing that really frustrates me and gets me down. I’m constantly working out what I can and can’t do because of how it will affect me. When it’s really bad my body feels like it’s made out of rocks. I have to take naps every other day. Everything is a thought out decision because of fatigue.

• Mixing left and right up

• Placing shapes in the wrong place (Like after I clean the hob I can never put the hob rack on the right way. Like a child who hasn’t quite figured out how to do a jigsaw yet)

• Remembering new things and them staying in my head

• Walking into a room and forgetting why (I know this happens other people without a brain injury but it happens a lot more with me)

• Forgetting what I’m talking about half way through a conversation

• Noises. I can’t concentrate on things if there’s too much noise. If someone is talking to me and the tv/radio is on I’ll have to turn it off. Little noises in the backgrounds can make me feel like this too.

• Taking too much information in at once.

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