Annette Henry

Annette Henry stands smiling at the camera on a bridge over a canal.

Daughter pays touching tribute to her father

by Annette Henry

A committed meditation teacher from York has launched a poetry book and pledged 10% of the proceeds to Headway in memory of her father, who sadly passed away after two years of living with a brain injury.

Annette Henry, originally from Nottingham, published her first compilation of poems, called Calm Insight: 33 Poems for Bringing Meditation to Life, after deciding to change her career path from teaching Modern Languages to meditation techniques.

The book, which is now available to buy through the Headway Amazon shop, features a series of uplifting poems Annette initially wrote and shared on social media for her own enjoyment before deciding to compile her work.

In August 2012, Annette's dad had been a fit and healthy man who enjoyed riding his bicycle at weekends near to his home in Nottingham.

However, on the morning of 13 August he suddenly collapsed while at home. After being rushed to the Queen's Medical Centre, it became apparent that he suffered a subdural hematoma - a collection of blood between the skull and the surface of the brain - which left him with a severe brain injury.

Annette's dad remained in a coma at the hospital for two months, before being transferred to Fernwood rehabilitation centre, in Hucknall, where he was to spend the next two years in a minimally conscious state.

"As a family we gradually adapted to our new reality, which included a strong sense of loss, especially as he could not speak to us," said Annette. "However, we also felt amazed and inspired by his strength of spirit to remain with us."

Tragically, various medical complications not relating to the brain injury meant that her father sadly passed away in October last year.

"My Dad's passing away came as a massive shock and had an enormously wounding impact upon our entire family," said Annette.

"When I made the career leap from college tutor to teaching meditation techniques to a diverse range of clients, I started writing poems for myself with no intention of creating a book.

"Calm InSight arose from a compilation of what I called my 'little rhymes' on my Facebook page. They were written to illustrate the day-to-day challenges - especially the mind-based ones - that are familiar to most of us, and perhaps to provide some new perspectives on how to deal with them.

"I wanted my work to have a real meaning and raising awareness of Headway and brain injury after what happened with my Dad seemed like a very appropriate cause. It is fantastic that Calm InSight has been released this week, but I would love to be able to share the news with him.

"The most important thing is showing other families affected by brain injury that they are not alone and help is available."

You can buy Calm InSight from Amazon.co.uk.