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Bernadette Bendall

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Bernadette Bendall

Bernadette Bendall

Living with a brain injury can be challenging... That is where Headway comes in.

In 2014, out of nowhere I sustained a severe head injury.

It happened one evening at home. I had been mildly unwell that week and I fainted in my kitchen and hit my head on the tiled floor. Hard. I fractured my skull which caused bleeding on my brain and brain shift.

Luckily my husband was at home at the time and immediately called 999. Without his quick response, the eventual outcome would have been much worse.

I was taken to Southampton General Hospital where I underwent an emergency craniotomy to relieve the pressure in my brain and repair the bleed. I spent a short time in an induced coma before waking up not knowing where I was, or what had happened. It had to be explained to me over and over again because I couldn’t retain any information.

A photograph of the shaved top of Bernadette's head shows a large scar from the brain surgery.
A scan of Bernadette's brain shows a large area of damage has occured.

Thankfully, I have been incredibly lucky, and have made a near complete recovery. However, unsurprisingly, given the severity of the injury, my brain doesn’t work in quite the same way as it did. It has to work harder to achieve the same.

As a result, I experience brain fatigue most days, ranging from mildly draining – where I need a few minutes peace and quiet – to utterly overwhelming where I can’t engage with anyone or anything, and need to go straight to bed and pass out. I also get some pretty spectacular headaches, but thankfully these have eased over time.

I am one of the lucky ones though. Incredibly lucky. Living with a brain injury can be challenging. Extremely so for some people. This is where Headway comes in.

This is why I have decided to run the London Marathon to raise funds for the national charity that supports people with brain injuries – no matter how they’re caused – and their families.

Finally, I would like to recognise my family and friends for their unwavering support since that day in 2014.

Thanks guys.

 

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Headway - the brain injury association is registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (Charity no. 1025852) and the Office of the Scottish Regulator (Charity no. SC 039992). Headway is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 2346893.

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