My name is Judy and I’m 54. 54?? When did that happen?!! I’ve been married to Simon for 23 years and we have two grown sons, Ben and Josh. Simon had an accident in July 2008 in which he sustained severe brain damage and he is in a persistent vegetative state.
Simon and I owned a small business and I continue to run it. It’s been a blessing for me, because not only does it give me something else to focus on, it’s meant that I can take time off when I need to be with him without having to worry about asking for leave. Josh also works for the family firm and Ben is at university. I live in a small village where everybody knows what you get up to, which means I can’t get up to anything very much! It’s nice and friendly though and if I want to go out for a drink at the local pub on my own, there will be always be someone there that I know. I like that.
Life has been pretty lonely since Simon’s accident and there have been times when I wondered how I could carry on. At those times I draw strength from friends and family because life goes on no matter what and we have to as well. I’ve always been a positive, glass half full kind of person, so I like to try and focus on the good things that can happen, rather than dwelling on the negatives. And there have been some good things to come out of this roller coaster of a journey.
The new friends I’ve made, that I would never have met otherwise, and the old ones who have stood by me and held me up when I just wanted to crumble; the inner strength I’ve discovered that I never knew was there; the close relationship that has developed between my children and me as we’ve supported and cared for each other and challenged the system to ensure that Simon gets what he needs.
We all need someone to lean on when times are hard, and they are very hard when someone you love suffers the devastation of severe brain injury. I hope that through this website, people will be able to find others to lean on, who know exactly what they are going through and can offer the support and help that makes it bearable. And maybe sometimes even to share a few laughs with. Because life does go on, and even in the bleakest of times, there are moments of lightness that keep us going and help us to remember just how strong we can be.