Headway Hertfordshire - supporting people affected by brain injury

Kerry Kirby's Story

Metal rod pierces nine year old Kerry's head.

Kerry was only nine years when, in 1994 a friend at play
threw a metal rod which pierced Kerry's head and caused
her massive brain damage. So much so that she was
eventually discharged from hospital in a wheelchair and
needing to learn everything again.

Her father gave up his job as a mechanic to care for her and
slowly Kerry, with great support from family and friends,
learned how to talk, walk and do simple daily tasks like
washing and dressing herself.

Kerry was given her own support team, giving support 24
hours a day, and her progress continued.

One turning point was in 2010 when Kerry was introduced to
Headway in Watford. 'It was good to meet other people like
me,' Kerry said. Another was getting her own home for her
and her pet dog Jenna and with 24 hour support from a
support team.

At Headway her confidence grew immeasurably as she was
able to open up to people who understood just what she had
been going through. She came to enjoy a wide range of
activities at the Headway Reconnect group.

With her support team Kerry learned to budget, shop, cook,
and Kerry's confident grew, and Kerry became more
independent. 'I've learned to use the bus so can get out an
about and that's great,' she said. Over time support team
hours have been reduced and Kerry spends more time on
her own.

If she had not suffered the accident at nine Kerry would have
loved to be working for the RSPCA. 'I'd still like to achieve
that,' Kerry said. 'I am doing voluntary work at Church Farm,
Stevenage, I work with sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, rabbits,
and I love it. I have always loved animals, like my dog Jenna
who I've had for 11 years.'

Kerry's team leader Justine, said Kerry wanted to learn to
drive. She took lessons but was not able to deal with the
theory part of the test. Kerry, even today, finds it difficult to
remember things. There may be a chance to try again
sometime in the future.'

Kerry's family cannot forget the horror of the accident that
struck her at just nine years of age and of the brain injury
that ensued. But they, like the support team and all her
friends at Headway are amazed at what Kerry has achieved
and is still achieving day by day.