Improving life after brain injury Need to talk? 0808 800 2244

Home About brain injury Individuals Brain injury and me

Rebekah Nesbitt

Share your story with us to help others affected by brain injury

Rebekah Nesbitt

Rebekah Nesbitt

It makes me so sad that I can't remember my wedding proposal.

For many women, a marriage proposal will be one of the most significant events in their life. From the romantic lead up to the question itself, it’s certainly a day to look back on with fond memories.

But sadly for Rebekah Nesbitt, she can’t remember anything of the special event.

Memory loss following a traumatic brain injury meant that 27-year old Rebekah Nesbitt couldn’t remember her fiancé’s proposal.

She said: "I'm annoyed and sad that I can't remember what would've been the loveliest surprise I'd had in my life.”

Rebekah met her fiancé James in 2011 when he accidentally spilt his drink over her in a pub. By way of apology, James asked her out on a date and the couple have been together ever since.

The pair spent five happy years together, until a tragic accident put their relationship to the ultimate test.

In September 2016, Rebekah was driving to the stables for a weekly horse riding lesson when she lost control of the car. She was left with a traumatic brain injury and damage to the back of her skull.

Talking about the accident, she said:

I will never know for certain what happened on the day that changed my life forever.

"I have a vivid memory of a cat running across the road - I can still picture it now, it was ginger and white. But I can't tell whether that's the truth or something I've conjured up in my mind to make my actions make sense.

Rebekah and James before her injury

Rebekah and James before her injury

"I guess I'll never know for sure what took place. What happened is in the past. Now I just have to focus on moving onwards and upwards and enjoying everything that my new life has to offer."

Rebekah spent several weeks in an intensive care unit, followed by a stint in a neurological ward before finally being transferred to a specialist rehabilitation hospital where she spent nine months.

A photo of Rebekah

Understandably, she was relieved when she eventually got to return home. But it wasn't until her discharge that Rebekah and the rest of her family truly began to understand just how challenging the effects of her injury would prove.

Like many other brain injury survivors, she has had to come to terms with the consequences of the accident, including poor coordination and memory, mobility difficulties and chronic fatigue.

In particular, her memory loss has presented a number of challenges, most notably within her relationship.

A year prior to the injury, James proposed to Rebekah and the couple were set to marry in 2017. But the wedding plans were put on hold after Rebekah's injury and she decided to move back in with her parents.

Sadly, Rebekah's memory loss means that she has no recollection of the proposal.

She said:

It makes me so sad that I can't remember the proposal.
Apparently James organised a trip to London and took me to Hyde Park to pop the question. Then we went to a really posh restaurant to celebrate - I'm sure it was a really special and romantic occasion.

Following the accident, James now helps to take care of Rebekah while holding down a full-time job.

Rebekah said: "James has been there for me when it would have been understandable if he had found himself unable to cope as a 26-year old faced with the daunting prospect of having to care for me.

"Whenever I feel distressed or frustrated, James manages to keep me calm and grounded. His gym training has paid off big time too - he never hesitates to help me physically when I'm struggling.

I'll always be incredibly grateful for his presence, patience and understanding in these difficult few years.

As for the future? Rebekah said: "We aren't in any rush with our plans but our first goal is to get back to our own home and continue our lives together.

"Hopefully James will propose again and this time I'll remember it!"

To learn more about Rebekah’s journey, visit her blog Rebroken where she details her life following brain injury.

A photo of Rebekah smiling

Share this page

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.

© Copyright Headway 2024  -  Site designed and developed by MEDIAmaker