TBI One Love Survivor Paul Spence
My name is Paul Spence and I am a father-of-two from Hull, East Yorkshire, England.
I was in a loving relationship and was an energetic father to my beautiful children. I had a brilliant job as an electrical foreman and was running jobs on chemical plants and hospitals. I was one of the lads, had a great network of friends, and enjoyed a very good social life. I was loving life.
Then, I suffered a Serious Brain Injury. Aged just 32, my life was never to be the same again!
I was the victim of an unprovoked attack in a busy bar, falling and cracking my head on a ceramic floor after being punched.
I was rushed to hospital and was taken to intensive care, spending 5 days in a coma fighting for my life. When I woke up I suffered from seizures, memory loss, and could not think or speak.
I was lucky to be alive, but it didn’t feel that way. I was told I faced a 2-3 year recovery, and even then, I would never be the same man again. I lost everything that day, my independence, my identity, my old life. The consequences of what had happened were devastating not only for me, but also for all those close to me.
When I eventually left hospital my family and close friends had to care for me. I was faced with a long and difficult battle, I could not speak, hear, see, think or even walk properly.
In the early days I battled with my own demons, falling into a world of depression and torment. I could not even remember the birth of my own son, I was confused, weak and vulnerable. I felt like I was at the centre of a ripple that was going out affecting everyone, and everything, in my life.
I was emotionally detached from all of my loved ones. There was no connection, people were just figures. This had a devastating impact on my loved ones, my relationship broke down, and soon I had lost everything. I finally realised the old Paul had gone, and turned my focus onto piecing my life back together. That was the start of a very long, tough journey to rehabilitate my body and mind.
With amazing love and support from my family and friends, I was determined not to let my brain injury beat me. I am still on my journey, but have come a long way
That led me to establishing my own charity, PAUL for Brain Recovery – Positivity, Awareness, Understanding and Love. Registered Charity No: 1164620
The charity is set up to support and prepare victims and their families during the recovery from a brain injury. The aim is to educate, support and inspire people affected with this injury. PAUL for Brain Recovery exists to make life easier after brain injury by providing advice and support to empower all affected by brain injury. As a charity founded by a brain injury survivor we have a real understanding of what people affected by brain injury are up against and what help they need.
We are overjoyed that on 16th April 2016 we opened the PAUL for Brain Recovery Centre! The centre will provide a relaxed, non-clinical lifeline, a place to get comfort, support, education and inspiration for people (and their families) that have been affected by brain injury.