Zalehka Price-Davies was left unable to walk or talk after she sustained a brain injury following a fall in 2015. With a lot of determination and some help from Headway Cardiff and South East Wales she has rebuilt her life.
In this Q&A she shares her thoughts on the power of music, becoming a new person and what makes her happy.
Being with my family and close friends. I try and surround myself with people that understand me and help bring out the best in me. My godson and nephew have given me the chance to fight for my new normal, they have shown me what matters in my life and what’s important.
My mum as she spends the most time with me, and has always from day one, she understood that time was a key factor in my recovery. There isn’t a shortcut for recovery and even nearly three years on, time is still a major factor. It still a massive shock that I'm still learning new parts of me that only my recovery has shown the both of us.
Most frustrating thing has to be that I look no different. To everyone else on the outside I look the same as before unless you hear me speak or know me well enough that I'm a completely different person to who I once was. My fatigue changes so much that I can be OK one minute and the next I can barely talk or walk and that really upsets me.
Headway was my lifeline. I couldn’t understand what had or was happening to me, it was like I was in someone else’s body. Headway explained to me what I was feeling was normal and that I wasn’t on my own.
I’d have stopwatch that could make you go back in time. Knowing that you could do things differently would be the best superpower going.
There’s a photo frame next to my bed, which has a photo of my Bampy and Nannie from years ago. That’s the most important possession I have.
Wow, I could give you a list as long as my arm for this question. I’ll go with two things; I’ve been mimicked a lot about my speech after my accident, as I suffer with a stammer. I think the worst was when someone said I sounded like a sheep. I was so shocked I couldn't even reply. It broke my heart. Another occasion that upset me was someone telling me they had had bigger concussions than my TBI. It’s definitely not a competition.
Music has helped with my anxiety and throughout my recovery. It’s my go-to when I'm not in control of my moods or fatigue.
Live in the moment. Appreciate what life can offer you. I used to be so worried about the smallest things and how other people would judge you. When in reality those people are so superficial. Over the last three years, as hard as my accident has been it’s actually made me realise that living in the moment is so important for your health and well-being.
The journey I had at the beginning of my recovery made me realise I didn’t want any other survivors to have to go through what I did. So I pushed my negatives into positives as I tried to raise awareness for brain injury survivors and give back to others that need the help I needed. It’s something that I feel strongly about and want others to understand what life is like after a brain injury.
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