INDISTINCT OVERLAPPING VOICES CONTEMPLATIVE MUSIC Pretty severe brain injury. You’re in a place called ABI,
which is Acquired Brain Injury. OK, Terry. So, what we’re gonna do
is just get you to sit on the edge
of the bed, and then we’re gonna put the belt
on, OK? Take the blanket off first,
Terry, so you don’t trip over it. Terry Tansey sustained a massive
head injury in a truck accident
three months ago. Sit. No, no, Terry, can you sit
on the side of the bed for me? Sit on the side of the bed.
Sit on the side of the bed? No, I— (CHUCKLES)
Sit on the side of the bed?
Come on in, Sam. He’s been in a state of confusion
with post-traumatic amnesia. Is it in your drawers
or is it in your cupboard? I don’t remember
having hair like this.
So, do you know what’s on your head? Just white jelly s***.
It’s actually a bandage. The complex nature of brain function
makes it one of the most difficult
injuries to recover from. Get that set up first.
Yeah, OK. When somebody does have an injury to
the brain that involves, say, a fall
or an accident, the whole of the brain has been
shaken up, but specific parts of
the brain impact on the skull, um, so there isn’t a great deal of
protection for the brain in general
terms. The brain is a very fragile organ.
It has a lot of delicate machinery
in it, if you like, and very important functions that
are concentrated in very small
areas. No worries, mate.
OK. So we’re gonna go
ready, steady, stand, OK? OK.
You ready? …steady,…
…stand. Are you ready?
We’re ready. Good. The Kaikohe truck driver is one of
30 patients at ABI Rehabilitation, one of NZ’s leading facilities
for people with traumatic
brain injuries. One.
You want me to count to what?
One. One, two, three, four. Get by.
Yeah, get by. (CHUCKLES) That way. Yep. OK.
Yeah. Terry came here soon after
his accident three months ago. Right.
Are you right? Out the door. Out the door.
This way, mate. Are you holding it? Only in the last few days has Terry
known who he is or where he is. Down, sir.
Brakes are on. Most people will be here six months
before they are well enough to go
home. You all right, Terry?
Let’s get you warm. Each year, 36,000 NZers have
a traumatic brain injury. Do you go dizzy when you’re walking?
A little bit, yeah. Patients transfer from their local
hospital to a rehabilitation centre
as soon as medically stable. At Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital, 15-year-old Jarrod is recovering
from a brain injury caused by
a spontaneous heart attack. Jarrod was playing basketball
when his heart stopped. It took eight minutes to revive him.
During that time, his brain cells
were starved of oxygen. I got the call at home, said he
had collapsed, didn’t know it was… I thought it was just from
exhaustion from the day at paintball
and then going on to basketball. We walked in to seeing him have
people performing CPR and everything
on him, so that was frightening.>And it seemed like it took forever
for them to be… for him to be
stable enough for them to move him. But I didn’t feel it.
No, you didn’t feel it. And then I died.
Yes. But you had some very very helpful
people that brought you back. Eh?
Not really dead. One doctor said, you know, if he
was to make the call that day,
that he would say it was a… unsurvivable brain injury. Mm.
So that’s what we were, kind
of, dealing with. We understand that there is a good
chance he may not be the boy that
we had before this all happened,… but, um, you know,… we’re thankful for…
whatever we have with him. Jarrod’s lucky to be alive. But
because he’s young, he has better
odds for recovery. His mum, Kelly, has been by
his side since the accident. But she’s torn between the many
demands on her time as a mother
of young children, who also has a full-time job. (CHUCKLES) BIRDS CHIRP All right, Eltje. Oh, not too bad. Eltje has already been at ABI for
six months, but the impact of her
accident lingers. Eltje was cycling on a rural road
when she was knocked off her bike. Doctors were amazed she survived. You all right?
Which foot are you gonna use?
Right foot? But they’ve realised throughout her
time here that this is one tough
lady. I put so much effort into… into my exercise and walking,… and that I don’t… seem to get the reward. Part of it is because,… um, the area where my injury is, which is the cerebellum,… um, is known not to
respond too well… to rehab. She’ll soon be at the stage where
she can leave rehab and head home. How have you been today? (SIGHS) Well, as usual,… I did my bike ride at half past 7. Her friend John has
visited almost daily. He’s taking Eltje back to her home
for the day, the first time she’s
been there since her accident. There is some anxiety, because we
feel that you are still gaining a
lot from the intensive therapy
that you get at ABI.
Mm. Yes. Have you thought about the place,
uh, with the slow stream rehab that
you may go to in Hamilton? The place doesn’t quite encourage
you for walking, and walking,
after all, is one of… one of the basic
things that I want to do. I… I think the
main thing wherever>you are is what you do yourself.>And I… I… I believe, and I’m
kind of proud to say… that I’m… there where I am now because
I’ve been pushing for it myself.
in life, I suppose. Certain things
happen. Like, something might break at home
or something, something that would
really wind you up, but I guess in that sort of sense,
you realise that, you know, life and family and whatnot
is all that matters really. We’ll have build some more
buggies when you get out, eh?
Yeah, we’ll build heaps of them. Yeah. Mm-hm. GENTLE MUSIC BIRDS CHIRP The King Country, a four-hour drive
from Auckland, is Eltje’s home
province. Her dream of an active life in the
countryside is the reason she moved
from Germany to NZ 15 years ago. It’s starting to rain, which
will make the steps slippy.
However… The short home visit is a test to
highlight how her home needs to be
adapted now that she’s less mobile. I’m OK like this. Yeah. BIRDS CHIRP Independence is what I had, but
dependence is what I have now. It’s just a huge difference. Yeah, it’s kind of slippy. I have to see it… as an opportunity,… uh, that I was given,… uh, that I can… construct my life again. And obviously, it has
to be quite different. What do you think? The place is… My bike… that I crashed with. And it… it’s just standing
there like it’s fine.>Yeah. You know, when you… when you see the bike,
you would never think that… Mm.
…somebody made a mess
of themselves like I did. Yeah.
Yeah. Mm. And… here I have a little lake. I hope they make
some form of lift… in order to access the house. All the glass is… is potentially dangerous. Like, if I… if I lose my balance, so I go through glass probably. The cycling ones, these are Masters Games medals… from the NZ Masters Games. Um,… this was, uh… I think it was a race in Hamilton. I can’t remember, to be honest. But I can’t… (SOBS) I can’t,… um, let go of cycling. ACOUSTIC GUITAR MUSIC MUSIC CONTINUES BIRDS CHIRP How are you?
I’m good. And you?
You’re looking marvellous. I’m looking marvellous? You’re
looking pretty marvellous.
Yeah? Oh, good. That’s great. How are you feeling today?
I’m not too bad. Yeah, not too bad.
What do I do? A bit of this, a bit of that.
(CHUCKLES) I’m your
occupational therapist, Terry. Yeah. That’s right. You are.
OK. We’re just gonna sit on
the edge of the bed first. OK. I’ve just been sort
of sleeping on the edge. Daily therapy aims to stimulate and
use recent memory and encourage him
to think again. It’s tied around there.
You take this off and all day. Yeah, I know. You don’t want it.
There you go. But Terry, before
we start, what do you need to do? Um, well, what do we
need to do with this?
We’re gonna go walking. Oh, we’re just gonna go walking,
yeah. We need to watch where
we’re going. Do we need to put
something on before we go?
Yes, uh, footwear. Which ones do you
want to put on today? Um, those ones over
there’ll be all right, yeah. Terry’s rehab has been delayed due
to the post-traumatic amnesia that
lingered for six weeks. OK. Put a bow in that
so you don’t trip over it.
Yeah, I should do. The main predictor that we use in
terms of long-term outcomes in the
community is, uh, what’s called post-traumatic
amnesia duration. So that’s the amount of time that
a person is in a confusional state;
they’re disorientated; you know, they don’t know what day of the
week it is or where they are. Um, and where you’ve got, um,
people who are in that state for,
uh, prolonged periods of time — um, and typically, here would probably
be around a month of so would
be average — those people tend to do less
well on return to the community. Do you remember
where the kitchen is?
Yeah, that way. OK. So do you want to lead me there?
Yep. Do you wanna go there now?
Yeah. Is that all right? Yeah. We can go. We can
go there now if you like. Take your time.
Don’t walk fast, Terry.
OK. And just remember to
watch for the side.
Yeah. OK. Try not to walk too fast. Knock, knock! (KNOCKS) Good morning, Jarrod. (CHUCKLES) Therapists know rehab’s hard work. Speech and language therapist
Ashley Stone tries to make it
interesting for Jarrod. Have you ever played Mad Libs
before? It’s called, um, kind
of, verbal generation. Right? So sometimes after a brain injury,
it can be hard for you to think of
things that you wanna say, hard to think of those words, think
of those ideas. And this is just
important for, you know, when you’re talking to people,
thinking of what you can say,
thinking of those words, being able to retrieve it
out your brain and use it.
a little bit of lunch… to show our appreciation. And, um, I know that you… all are only… doing your job,… um,… but to me, it was much more. And I wanna thank… all of… all of you as a team. And I think you’re an
awesome team, and, um,… brain injury is known or patients with brain injury… are known to be very forgetful,… but I will remember you. Thank you. (SOBS) Just got a few hours
to go. (CHUCKLES) Well, at least I’m
walking out of here,… not… not in a wheelchair. Turn that left foot. In our next episode,
Jarrod takes his first steps. Sit down? OK.
Just have a seat there. So arms back. And Terry’s excited
his memory is returning. I see Terry in the mirror, that guy
that used to have a truck accident,
but he’s coming right now, so, yeah.