David Wozny was 45 years old when he was involved in a road traffic collision which left him with a traumatic brain injury, turning his life upside down.
In July 2015, David was riding his bike when he was struck at 40mph by a car. He was thrown from his bike, left unconscious and bleeding from his ear.
In a comatose state, David was airlifted to the nearest major trauma centre where he underwent an operation to relieve the building pressure on his brain.
He was diagnosed with a fractured skull, subdural haematoma, subarachnoid haemorrhage and bruising on the brain.
Hopeless and helpless summed up how I thought about my situation.
“When people said it could take two or more years to recover it felt like I was being fobbed off, I genuinely felt I would never get better.”
David spent almost two months in hospital and a further one month in a rehabilitation centre.
He said: “I accepted the probability of me returning to my old life was most unlikely. I had the mindset that I was grateful I still had my daughter Olivia and my life partner Ruth with me - everything else was secondary to that.”
Despite making great improvements during his time in hospital, David found that upon returning home he was faced with new challenges.
“My first ten months after hospital discharge were spent doing little more than getting through every day,” he said.
I became tired of trying to explain how I felt - I used the term cloudy, but nothing could ever explain how brain trauma feels.
“I can still remember what thoughts crossed my mind, but I am at a loss to properly describe how it felt. I believe it is one of those matters which has to be experienced to be properly understood, and it's not a journey anyone takes by choice.”
Following his brain injury, David was able to get support from his local Headway group in North Staffordshire.
He said: “I attended the Headway centre for three months during my recovery. I enjoyed the community spirit and simple activities such as playing table tennis and pool, as well as the quiz sessions.”
He said: “My brain injury still impacts me every day. My short-term memory is dreadful, I don’t feel pain, I can’t taste or smell things, but I have coping strategies for these deficiencies which help me enormously.
Some things may never be the same after my injury, but instead of dwelling on any negative outcomes, I choose to focus on the positives and enjoy the luxury of being alive.
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