1st Edition

Rebuilding Life after Brain Injury Dreamtalk

    161 Pages
    by Routledge

    161 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Rebuilding Life after Brain Injury: Dreamtalk tells the survival story of Sheena McDonald, who in 1999 was hit by a police van and suffered a very severe brain injury. Sheena’s story is told from her own, personal standpoint and also from two further unique and invaluable perspectives. Allan Little, a BBC journalist and now Sheena’s husband, describes both the physical and mental impact of the injury on himself and on Sheena. Gail Robinson, Sheena’s neuropsychological rehabilitation specialist, provides professional commentaries on Sheena’s condition, assessment and recovery process.

    The word Dreamtalk, created by Allan to describe Sheena’s once "hallucinogenic state", sets the tone for this book. It humanises and contextualises the impact of brain injury, providing support and encouragement for patients, professionals and families. It presents exclusive insights into each stage of recovery, spanning coma, altered consciousness, post-traumatic amnesia and rehabilitation; all showing how she has defied conventional clinical expectations and made an exceptional recovery.

    This book is valuable reading to those who have suffered a brain injury and also to professionals such as neurologists, neuropsychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists working in the field.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    Series Foreword

    Professor Barbara Wilson



    1. What happened?
    2. Was it that bad?
    3. Coma
    4. Trauma
    5. Who am I now?
    6. Back to work
    7. Life after near-death
    8. Plodding on
    9. Brave neurological world



    Sheena McDonald is a British radio and TV journalist.

    Allan Little is a British radio and TV journalist working for the BBC, and co-author of The Death of Yugoslavia (1995).

    Gail Robinson is a Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist and Associate Professor at the Queensland Brain Institute & School of Psychology, the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, specialising in detailed single-case studies.

    "It is near impossible for this book not to touch one’s heart. The writing is beautiful, powerful and passionate, and tells a story of tragedy, loss, forgiveness, love and hope. In Dreamtalk, Sheena McDonald, Allan Little and Gail Robinson provide very unique, but interweaved perspectives on traumatic brain injury. Understanding this uniqueness, and translating personal stories into plans to ensure the best possible outcomes, represents the art of neuro-rehabilitation. This book should be read by clinicians and academics with an interest in neuro-rehabilitation, and by anyone who wants to learn more about what makes us human." - Dr Rudi Coetzer, Consultant Neuropsychologist & Head of the North Wales Brain Injury Service, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board NHS Wales, UK

    "One fateful day in February 1999 Sheena McDonald sustained a very severe brain injury changing the trajectory of her life. This book provides a poignant account of her recovery from this traumatic event. Combining Sheena’s account with that of her partner and her neurorehabilitation specialist enables the reader to gain a holistic insight into recovery from brain injury. This book is vital reading for any professional involved in neurorehabilitation, and the individuals and families touched by brain injury reminding the reader that every person affected by brain injury can make a remarkable recovery. Life may not be the same as before but there is hope." - Dr Anita Rose, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, The Raphael Hospital, Kent, UK