Deb Grant

Hi I’m Deb Grant. I had a large brain aneurysm.

The operation went well but unfortunately I had a stroke a day or so after surgery as well as brain swelling which had to be operated on four days later. I had to have part of my skull taken off and put in my abdomen. I remembered nothing apart from the last three days of me being at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Me and my husband were only told about surgery. Nothing post surgery.
Nothing about how your brain injury will be life changing.

From being a totally independent strong woman, who was involved in personal, family and financial decisions to being dependent on my husband and my family.

From being a respected front line advanced emergency medical technician in the ambulance service for over 15 years to no longer being in the service.

From not being an emotional person before to crying when I look at food on my plate in a restaurant or see a gerbil in a pet shop.

Knowing I was a selfless person before and now I finally understand the better I love myself/be selfish, the greater my recovery will be.

Important points I’ve experienced:

  • Listen to the brain injury specialists, OTs and Headway etc. they know your recovery before you do!
  • Dynamics of friendships & family have changed. That has been quite painful. That has also been a blessing!
  • Hope has continued to live with me and has even made my lowest day feel slightly better.
  • Brain Injury is an invisible disability – I look ok, so I must be ok.
  • Have to focus on me and my recovery and become selfish instead of my old selfless ways
  • I still grieve for the loss of my professional & personal identity.
  • Sneaky fourth positive is I’m as stunningly gorgeous now as I was before my surgeries
  • Appreciating and acknowledging life, new songs, swans swimming, each season, how our springers focus their love on me
  • Poor memory, poor cognitive functions
  • Becoming less judgmental (which was something I didn’t think I was beforehand) about others & not wanting involvement in situations that don’t concern me.
  • Developing Epilepsy from the stroke