Early stages of recovery after severe TBI - Headway


8,822 members11,279 posts

Early stages of recovery after severe TBI

Stephyb90 profile image

Hi my dad suffered a severe traumatic brain injury coming up 9 weeks ago, he is only 56 years old and is currently on a stroke ward waiting to go to a specialist hospital to start a 12 week programme to assess his consciousness levels. He opens his eyes but does not speak or follow commands. It has effected his left side and hasn't moved very much on that side, he can move his right side and has brought his right hand up to his face but recently We have noticed he hasn't done this in a while. We are all very worried about his recovery and I know that everyone is different and everyone recovers differently but wanting to know if anyone themselves or their relatives have gone through this and what kind of recovery have they made?

10 Replies
headwayuk profile image

Hello Stephyb60,

Thank you for your post, and I'm very sorry to hear of the situation with your Dad. I'm sure you'll get some good feedback from members on here, but in the meantime I wanted to let you know of some information from Headway that might help.

There is some information on hospital treatment and early recovery after brain injury at: headway.org.uk/about-brain-...

And some information on reduced awareness states at: headway.org.uk/about-brain-...

We also offer a range of support services across the UK, so please don't hesitate to get in touch on 0808 800 2244 or helpline@headway.org.uk

Best wishes,


Stephyb90 profile image
Stephyb90 in reply to headwayuk

Thank you Andrew!

has your dad done any physio with the right side of his body since hes been in the stroke ward? have you spoken to his consultant neurologist to find out if there hasnt been any physio while hes waiting to be transferred, why not?

all the best


Stephyb90 profile image
Stephyb90 in reply to steve55

He gets physio everyday but they're just working on his arms and legs and the physio therapists don't have experience looking after someone with a tbi so after speaking to them yesterday they are going to get in touch with the specialist hospital to see if they can be doing anything more in the mean time. We also try and move his arms and legs the way we've been shown when we visit too to keep them moving but his arms are starting to stiffen up and it's hard to get them straight and also can't get his fingers straight. We've mentioned splints for his arms a few times but they don't seem to want to use them.

steve55 profile image
steve55 in reply to Stephyb90

they shouldve already been in touch in touch with them!!!

Stephyb90 profile image
Stephyb90 in reply to steve55

I know it's so frustrating but they have finally been I touch and they are happy with everything they are doing and they've finally been using splints on him.

Hi sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope he can recover as best as is possible. I understand what it’s like, wanting to find answers and others’ Experiences when it happens to you. I was in the same position. 8 years ago. I had an SAH during a craniotomy and couldn’t move my left side at all, although I was coherent. It was very frustrating, I can imagine it is for your dad now an all of you. I can only tell you my experience, but (in brief!) I was transferred to a specialist Neuro hospital to undertake the intensive therapy I needed to walk again. I was in there for 6 months. It sounds like your Dad needs more specialist help if there not even using splints? As far as I’m aware they’re essential, especially in the earlier stages. I’m not sure if you have anything like that nearby, but I’m sure it would help. Other than that it is unfortunately a long waiting game. I really do wish you all the very best x

in reply to AlmaMatters

Hello. I am currently going through the early stages of tbi with my boyfriend. He’s been in the hospital for three months now. He’s going through Similar stages like your dad. The advice I give you is a lot of brain and body stimulation. Play music, talk to him a lot, aromatherapy, do Range of motion on his body five times a day, massage him. Keep the joints and muscles stimulated. I do that everyday for my boyfriend and I see wonderful difference, things like this do take time, but don’t ever give up. God bless.

Stephyb90 profile image
Stephyb90 in reply to

Thank you for your reply. I'm sorry to hear about your boyfriend. It's so frustrating knowing what to do. We had a visit from a Neuro hospital and they give us advice saying basically have one stimulation at a time and don't over stimulate him and since we've been doing that he seem to have gone flat. I massage my dad everyday and recently I have started to see an improvement but not sure if it's the medication he's on or because they've started using splints but I will continue. I will never give up thank you.

Thank you for your reply. I'm so sorry to hear about accident and I'm glad to hear you are improving. It's so frustrating wanting to find the answers, I know not everyone is the same and has different recoveries but i just want to know if there's a chance he can come back from this. The doctor (a stroke specialist) had a chat with us a few days a go and told us he is going to be severely disabled and this may be as good as it gets but I've chosen not be believe this and stay positive and hopeful that he is going to come back to us. They have finally started using splints now and started him on a medicine called baclofen and his arms and hands seem to be improving but he's still not moving himself. We have a Neuro specialist hospital near by but they only have a limited number of beds so just waiting for a bed. He's not ready to start rehabilitation but they want to start him on a 12 week programme to assess his level of consciousness. I just hope and pray he gets there soon and he has a good outcome.

You may also like...