Peterborough mum welcomes support after teenage son diagnosed with brain injury

A Peterborough mum has welcomed the support offered from a national charity after her teenage son was diagnosed with a serious brain injury.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 3:23 pm
Emma with Harry

Emma Bullimore (44), from Peterborough had to give up working in a school to provide the care needed by her son: “My 17-year-old son Harry became unwell with tonsillitis two years ago, but the antibiotics prescribed were not effective. A CT scan followed, and we discovered that he had three large masses on his brain due to abscesses near his brain stem.

“Surgery followed and he spent some time in a high dependency unit and was initially told that he may not walk nor talk again. His brain injury means that he now functions as a 7-year-old and he needs someone with him all the time. His cognitive function is significantly impaired, he needs occupational, speech and language therapy on a daily basis and the right side of his body is weak due to his injury.

The family has been offered support from The Child Brain Injury Trust (CBIT) - which has now created a new app to help families, including the Bullimore’s access vital information.

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The CBIT In Hand app was developed in conjunction with families supported by the charity. The app includes details explaining the impact of head injury, concussion and brain injury as a child develops, and enables users to access the emotional, practical and financial help available to them.

Emma said: “Harry’s injuries are significant, and the impact has affected the whole family. We were referred to the Child Brain Injury Trust very quickly. We have received support including help with accessing funding, the information we needed about brain injuries and how to best meet Harry’s needs, and links with other families through the Trust.

“As a parent, it is overwhelming to suddenly find yourself in this situation. CBIT In Hand helps to make an exceptionally challenging, and upsetting time, a little easier with access to support quicker.”

Lisa Turan, chief executive officer at the Child Brain Injury Trust, said: “We are delighted to launch CBIT In Hand to give families the light at the end of the tunnel during what will be one of their darkest moments.

“An acquired child brain injury can affect any family and is a result of either an illness or an accident. There is no way for families to prepare themselves for that moment when they learn that their child has a brain injury.

“CBIT In Hand has been designed to deliver signposting and support that families desperately need – from the moment a head injury happens and if they learn that their child will be living with a brain injury, and throughout their journey as their child develops.

“Brain injuries are complex, and the effects are wide ranging. Every individual’s injury is unique. The outcome can mean physical, cognitive, behavioural and learning difficulties, either in the short or long term.”

The CBIT In Hand app has been supported through the National Lottery Community Fund and sponsored by Leigh Day. It will be piloted at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Alder Hey Hospital in Merseyside and then rolled out to hospitals throughout the UK.

CBIT In Hand is available to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The Child Brain Injury Trust marks its 30th anniversary this year and received nearly 450 referrals in the year up to January 2021.

For more information about the Child Brain Injury Trust visit childbraininjurytrust.org.uk