A brain injury survivor has paid tribute to ground-breaking neuro-rehabilitation centre, Reconnections, for giving him the skills and confidence to live independently again.

29-year-old Sam’s three-month neuro-rehabilitation programme, developed by Reconnections’ clinical therapy team, covered a range of areas including physical rehabilitation, mental wellbeing, and cognitive communication; all with the aim of maximising function.

His personalised rehabilitation plan included a combination of functional and outdoor activities including walking, bike riding, climbing, canoeing and kayaking, uniquely integrated with clinical therapy. By completing meaningful tasks, from concept to completion, in a real world-setting he was actively involved in the planning and decision-making aspects of his programme.

After initially living in the main Reconnections building, which has eight bedrooms and a range of facilities, Sam moved into one of the centre’s two independent living flats.

“Being able to live independently at Reconnections gave me so much more confidence,” explained Sam who suffered an ABI following a road traffic accident five years ago. “I knew support was always on hand and it moved my recovery on to a whole new level. It was also good to improve my cooking skills!”

Since leaving Reconnections, Sam has moved into his own home as his recovery continues.

“Reconnections has given me the confidence and skills to live a normal life again,” he added. “I’ve got so much more self-belief.”

Sam’s Mum, Sally, says her son’s progress at Reconnections exceeded their expectations.

“Sam had been at home with us for a year through lockdown because he wasn’t coping at his previous rehabilitation centre,” explained Sally.

“After past experiences, he was sceptical about the benefits of rehabilitation but he progressed really well at Reconnections through a rehabilitation plan integrating functional and outdoor activities with clinical therapy.

“By way of example, one of the biggest influences on Sam’s confidence and independence was enabling him to build up to using public transport independently when he did some voluntary work.

“Reconnections is also more like a home than a hospital, which sets it apart from other brain injury rehab units.”

Sam’s progress is in keeping with many other participants at Reconnections who have achieved life-changing outcomes.

To coincide with the centre’s first anniversary, Reconnections recently released its first evidence-based outcomes review.

To date, duration of participant stay has varied, some for just 6 weeks, and others for as long as 24 weeks. On average the length of stay has been 13 weeks.

Analysis of participants’ outcomes to date, indicate:

– 100% improved their ability to carry out everyday activities.
– 100% needed less support when they were discharged and 60% have progressed onto independent living.
– 100% reported an improved hope for the future and an improved sense of purpose and direction in their life.
– 90% achieved their goals.
– 80% felt more empowered through greater participation and control over decisions that affect their lives.
Said Claire Appleton, Head of Service at Reconnections:

“During our first 12 months, we have welcomed multiple participants through our doors who have experienced real life changes. These changes have been fantastically illustrated in the outcomes which we can now begin to share. The changes to participants’ lives have been a privilege to be part of, and the feedback from family and professionals involved has been inspirational.”