Headway Hertfordshire - supporting people affected by brain injury

David & Eileen Moyes Story

The road to recovery is a team effort say mother and son.

More often than not the road to recovery for someone who
has suffered brain injury is a partnership between the injured
person and one or more close relatives or friends. Such is
the case of David and his mother Eileen.

David, now 48, had a road traffic accident when he was 19.
He was asleep with his girlfriend in the back of his friend's
car when it crashed.

'I can remember nothing about it,' David said. 'I woke up in
some hospital with lots of broken bones, but my main injury
was a bang on my head that caused brain damage.'

David's girlfriend and the driver were also badly injured but,
like him, survived.

David had to learn to talk, walk and care for himself again.
After being discharged from hospital a long struggle ensued,
a struggle to get his life back to some kind of normality.

His main carer has been his mother Eileen who sighs when
she recalls the long journey of recovery. 'David had just
finished his apprenticeship at a leading telecommunications
company when he had the accident. Eventually he was able
to go back on light duties but when they found he could not
climb a ladder they had to let him go. It has been like that,
one disappointment after another.'

David had found a new partner and they had a son, Lee, but
David's recovery was then hampered by recurring epilepsy
seizures caused by the accident. His partner left him and he
moved in with his mother.

'For the past two years he has been with me,' Eileen said.
'Lee, now 18, is ok and we keep an eye on him, but helping
David keep going has been the challenge. The one great
thing that happened in 2012 was that we came across
Headway. Since then David has been going to his Headway
group, learning from it and loving it, and that has given him a

At Headway David found he was mixing with people with
similar difficulties. 'We're all here to help each other,' he said,
'and we do. The thing that gets me now is my memory. I can
now think back years. I can remember school days. But I
can't remember what was said to me, or what I wanted to do
ten minutes ago!'

Eileen has become a volunteer at Headway in Watford and
is fully engaged in its life and purpose. 'It's for carers too,'
she said, 'and one benefit they get is to learn all about how
the brain works.

David's ambition? 'Oh, definitely to get back to work. Since
leaving the telecommunications company I have had some
work and right now I am volunteering but I do want a proper
job again.'

Both David and Eileen are optimistic. David hasn't had an
epileptic seizure for nearly a year and he feels much more
confident since joining Headway.

'My mum has helped me so much right the way through, she
has always been there. And if I get back to work she will be
so happy.'