Soap Storyline Highlights Lasting Effects Of Brain Injuries

Coronation Street Character Nick Tilsley Suffered A Serious Brain Injury


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The writers and producers of popular British soap Coronation Street have been praised for raising awareness of the effects of serious brain injuries.

Last night's episode (October 28th) saw Nick Tilsley suffer a panic attack as he continues to recover from a near-fatal road accident.

Played by actor Ben Price, Nick has now left hospital and there have already been signs to suggest the incident has affected his personality, with the character losing his temper with his loved ones and having memory lapses.

Speaking to ITV1 show Daybreak, Mr Price said a lot of research had gone into the storyline, enabling him to give a realistic portrayal of what it can be like to deal with the after-effects of a serious brain injury, Digital Spy reports.

He said that producer Stuart Blackburn had done a "fantastic job".

"We met with a doctor, a surgeon who would have done the operation on me and the charity Headway, and we talked about the long-term implications." he said during the interview.

"I think that was one thing that Stuart and the writers and I really wanted to do. Not just a few months, maybe a year, maybe it takes two years."

Mr Price explained how the doctor told him that some people who suffer a serious head injury can struggle to express their feelings and emotions and this can put a great deal of strain on relationships.

He said Nick's plight is common in the UK and it is important to raise awareness of how hard it can be to make a full recovery.

Headway - the brain injury association - estimates that around one million people in the UK are currently living with the long-term effects of a serious head problem, so a sizeable proportion of the population will be able to relate to the episodes involving Nick and his family.

Statistics published by the charity also show the number of people being admitted to hospital with a serious brain injury has increased by more than a third in the past ten years.

Expert Opinion
I think it is great that ITV are highlighting these serious issues that arise when someone is suffering from a brain injury.

Many people with a brain injury may no longer show any physical signs after their initial recovery and this can make it even more difficult to adapt and come to terms with their injury. It can also be tricky for family and friends to understand that their brain may not quite work in the same way which can cause frustration all round.

By raising awareness of brain injuries in mainstream TV programmes hopefully it will make more people understand what the sufferers are going through. Rehabilitation can be a long process but there is a lot of support out there for people who are struggling."
Neil Whiteley, Partner