Meet Trent. He sustained a traumatic brain injury, as well as fractures to his neck and pelvis in a motor vehicle accident in 2020. This resulted in a range of cognitive and behavioural challenges, as well as restricted neck movement, pain and significantly reduced left arm strength.
When we first met with him he was struggling to cope with the many challenges of his new life. He was often sleepy and drowsy, and had difficulty managing his schedule. He also made impulsive decisions, had poor short-term memory and experienced anxiety in social situations.
Our multidisciplinary team supported Trent in a variety of areas; addressing strength, movement, balance, conversational skills, engagement, confidence, memory, sleep hygiene and coffee intake. Over time Trent has made significant progress; he’s now at the point where he’s attending all of his appointments without needing any reminders, managing his schedule independently and taking his medication on time.
He’s worked on his sleep and diet, as well as engaging in regular exercise, resulting in tangible health and fitness improvements. He has regained full neck range of motion and can now lift weights with his left arm that are around 7 times as heavy compared to immediately post-accident. Trent is also working towards his goal of return to running and can already jog several hundred metres without a rest.
Trent is able to catch public transport and ride an electric tricycle with minimal support in the community. He is aiming to be able to ride his trike independently to the gym. In the meantime he is getting his steps in and walking the 2.5kms each way on his own.
Throughout this journey, Trent’s relationships have improved. He’s become much closer with his mother and has a great rapport with his support workers. He also feels more talkative and confident in the social groups he’s attended in the community.
Trent is at the point of reducing his support worker hours and gaining greater independence in his life. He has also spent some time volunteering at the Salvos Op Shop and is about to embark on a big holiday to India. Trent is excited, feeling positive and is proud of how far he’s come!
Trent’s story is an inspiration to others who have sustained similar types of injuries. With dedication, hard work and a support system in place, it is possible to overcome multiple barriers and live a fulfilling life, independently.