Action For Brain Injury Week Taking Place From May 20
A Chippenham man who suffered a serious bleed on the brain when he was knocked off his motorcycle is marking this year’s Action for Brain Injury Week by speaking out about how fatigue caused by his injury continues to affect his life.
Marco Gambi, 47, was left with the brain injury and a host of orthopedic problems when he collided with a car which turned across this path on Wootton Bassett High Street
He was taken to Southmead Hospital in Bristol after the incident and required intensive care support for more than a week before then being transferred to the Royal United Hospital in Bath for further care. He was finally able to return home around two months after the collision.
Following the incident, Marco instructed specialist serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what happened and help him secure vital funds to support his recovery and rehabilitation.
Now, as the legal experts continue to work on his behalf, Marco has joined with them to mark Action for Brain Injury Week. Held from May 20 to 26, the awareness week organised by Headway this year has the theme of ‘brain drain – wake up to fatigue’.
Expert Opinion“Marco has shown incredible courage and resilience over the past few years, not only coming to terms with his accident but also the long-term impact that it has had on him.
“Fatigue is a huge part of life with a brain injury, but it can often be overlooked as a major issue and significantly misunderstood. Action for Brain Injury Week has put a spotlight on this matter and Marco’s story highlights how the seriousness of such issues cannot be underestimated.” Georgina Moorhead - Associate Solicitor
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people affected by brain injuries
Looking back on the crash which happened in January 2016, Marco said: “I don’t remember anything at all about what happened. My first memories post- accident are from the time I spent at hospital in Bath. .
“The process of going through recovery is incredibly hard and even when I got home it took a long time for me to get used to being back. Even though I’ve made huge strides, fatigue is one of the biggest things that still affects me every day.
“I feel like my life is now a vicious cycle of managing fatigue and anxiety. If I do too much the fatigue kicks in, this then triggers my anxiety which then exhausts me. It’s so frustrating because it means I have to plan every hour of every day. I’m always wondering whether I can do a certain activity, weighing up how it might affect me before and after and also who else it might impact on. It is just so tiring all the time.”
Marco, who lives with partner Dawn, 49, continues to struggle with tiredness on a daily basis. He tries to keep busy and has tried to resume many of the activities he used to enjoy, including golf and going to the gym, but often finds that doing so exhausts his energy reserves to the extent that he can take at least 24 hours to recover and rest.
Marco added: “Golf now proves a major struggle. Before the accident I would enjoy golfing weekends in the UK and abroad with a close group of friends. However, I can no longer play golf on consecutive days as it is far too draining for me.
“This has obviously affected that friendship group, with only some of them keeping in touch with me. Not only do they no longer invite me to join golfing events with them but I have lost the social aspect too, that connection and friendship I had with them. The social life I share with Dawn has also been affected because we can’t go to shows or concerts anymore because it’s too tiring for me with my brain having to work harder to process excessive noise and people around me. Even a meal out locally can often end up being cut short if my fatigue or anxiety kicks in.
“I am still surprised by how much fatigue can affect me, but ultimately I recognise that my brain is still attempting to repair itself and recover from what it has been through. The hardest thing is knowing I will never fully recover.
“One thing which has been a huge help however has been volunteering at Headway. I first visited the charity just after I came out of hospital and I’ve developed a strong relationship with everyone there.
“While initially it was great to meet others and get support like cognitive exercises, in more recent times I have been able to volunteer for two days a week. It has been hugely rewarding work and while I still struggle with tiredness, getting out and being active is still a big part of my life.
“Action for Brain Injury Week puts a spotlight on all aspects of having a brain injury and the impact of fatigue is undoubtedly important. It is vital that people who maybe work or live with those affected by brain injuries understand the issue.”