'I'd forget which bus stop to get off at' - Man, 36, shares experience of severe brain injury
PUBLISHED: 13:49 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:49 17 January 2020
An Ormesby who has worked to rebuild his life after being unable to remember the most basic things following a near-fatal infection in his brain has shared his experience.
Theo Barron, 36, enjoyed his job as a painter and decorator and had a lively social life - until one day in 2017 turned his world upside down.
When an infection in his brain left Mr Barron with memory loss, he feared his life would never be the same again.
The effects of his injury were so severe that he would often forget which bus stop to get on and off at while on his daily commute.
Mr Barron's first experience with brain injury began in 2017, when his mum Judy had walked into his house to find him unconscious on the floor after having a seizure.
He was rushed to hospital where he spent five days before being diagnosed with encephalitis and to this day he doesn't know the cause of the injury.
Memory loss meant Mr Barron could no longer lead the independent life he once did, and instead he had to rely on the help of his mother who became his full-time carer.
He said: "After my brain injury I struggled with memory loss and one of the biggest difficulties was getting from one place to the next. I'd forget which bus stop to get off at or I'd take a wrong turning without noticing.
"I had to look at photographs of landmarks along the way otherwise I'd forget where I was going."
Despite trying to be as independent as possible, the effects of his injury meant he needed 24/7 care and has since had to move back home with his mum.
But thanks to the help of brain injury charity Headway Norfolk and Waveney, Mr Barron has rebuilt his life and is positive about his prospects.
The charity worked with Mr Barron to put strategies in place to help him along the way.
"To begin with, Headway helped me set a goal of getting to the centre independently. They helped by showing me photographs of landmarks along my journey so I could identify where I was," he said.
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"To start with I needed a lot of support and guidance but as time went on I became more independent."
The charity was able to support Mr Barron further by offering occupational therapy focusing on memory and attention strategies, problem solving and cognitive functioning.