In celebration of International Day of People with Disabilities, we were honored to host Stephen, a long term client of ours, who shared his powerful story of living with a brain injury. His journey, filled with both challenges and wins, sheds light on the unique experiences of people with disabilities (PWDs).
Stephen is a 24 year old man who had a car accident in 2018. That accident nearly took his life, and Stephen sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Stephen shared with us that living with a brain injury is very challenging, due to judgement and sometimes mistreatment from others. The brain injury impacts his mood, he struggles with remembering people and conversations and he is worried he will be a liability for the rest of his life.
Stephen has great support from his family, wonderful carers and allied health. He also cites his faith as being a huge motivator and source of hope throughout his journey.
We asked Stephen about his goals. He loves public speaking, it has been one of his major goals in therapy, and uses a lot of humour to connect with the audience. He also is working on walking again with his physiotherapist and would one day like to give back to the community by working.
Stephen’s top tips to health professionals for dealing with PwD:
- Treat them how you would like to be treated
- Don’t assume they are stupid because they have a disability
- Joke around with your clients and have some fun
Stephen’s story resonated deeply. It reminded us that behind every disability label lies a unique individual, with their own story, hopes and struggles. It highlighted the critical need for person-centered care with understanding, collaboration and respect for PWDs’ lived experiences.
Thanks so much for sharing your story Stephen – you are an inspiration!