THC Ambassadors share their experiences this Brain Injury Awareness Week

Hear from members of The Hopkins Centre Ambassador Council on their stories of recovery, rehabilitation and why they want to really make a difference in the way society thinks about disability and how the views of people with disability can drive bold solutions through better engagement in research.

This is the second video in the THC Ambassador series, with Belinda Adams and Stephen Dale, sharing their stories of brain injury, awareness of brain injury as an 'invisible' injury and vision for the future.

Read more about their stories and citizen-led research agenda here.


Image of Izak Hollins, Architect and Research Ambassador

Izak Hollins Architect and Research Ambassador, shares his lived experience of brain injury in valuable research with The Hopkins Centre. Following sustaining a traumatic brain injury from a motorbike accident in January 2017, Izak has spoken about his recovery and part of his therapy which supported practice communication through research investigation of how space affects patients recovering from acquired brain injury. Izak connected with The Hopkins Centre when he left hospital and has been working with our research team, combining his experience as a patient in the hospitals and rehabilitation spaces with his knowledge on architecture, to study how spaces can be arranged to promote better rehabilitative outcomes for individuals with a brain injury and more supportive built environment for rehabilitation. 

Read more about his story from NIISQ newsletter.


 Image of Belinda Adams

Belinda Adams 

Mother, Carer, Budding screen writer and Advocate for people with disability  

Belinda and her family have been personally touched by brain injury, with her son receiving life threatening injuries following a car crash in March 2012. She was an integral part in her son's rehabilitation and is still key in his continued rehabilitation. With her first-hand experience of brain injury, Belinda shares her story with others through her films and partners with Synapse in their mission to reconnect those in the community living with or affected by a Brain Injury. 

Belinda shares, "Awareness for people leaving hospital is vital! It is not just about the rehabilitation services, but more than anything the knowledge that rehabilitation is ongoing. The best advice I received, is that the brain can build new pathways and
to never give up hope."

For Belinda and her family, the brain injury Rehabilitation Unit (BIRU) at the Princess Alexandra Hospital was a very important step in the brain injury rehabilitation journey. It was hugely beneficial in her son's Dylan's recovery and her ultimate goal is to see the government come to the table and fund an expansion of the facility. With her comment that, "26 beds is far cry from what is needed".


Michelle Owens
GP and Health Administrator

Eleven years ago, Michelle Owens was a General Practitioner in Beaudesert. One rainy day, on her long drive to work, she swerved to miss something on the road and ended up in a devastating collision with a gum tree. She had a circumferential base of skull fracture, spent nine months in hospital and has devoted much of the last few years advocating for improved brain injury services. She has contributed to websites, Government Inquiries, and Commissions while continuing to raise her two children. She has now returned to employment in a health-related field. Michelle’s experience over the last decade has increased her compassion for other people and her conviction that therapy services must be delivered early and intensively to help people regain their abilities. 

"I think the best piece of advice I can give to any personal family affected by a brain injury, would be to be patient and most important never to give up! The statement, 'rehabilitation has no expiry date', is so true. Rehabilitation as “a lifelong task” and she still notices small improvements, many years on from her injury. The thing is, because they are not very physical and they’re mostly cognitive improvements, they are not visible to the Outsider", Michelle said. "A pretty universal impact of a brain injury seems to be a more positive outlook on life and truly appreciating the small things that people seem to forget".

Read more about her story from NIISQ newsletter 


Tags: Ambassadors,  Brain Injury Awareness Week, Brain Injury

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