Jen C

Before my accident, I was 18 and I had just finished a two-year course to qualify as a horse riding instructor. I was a very active person and really enjoyed working with the horses. Two weeks after receiving my qualification, I was in a car accident.

I suffered a serious head injury, and I stayed in hospital and rehabilitation for nine months.

I remember feeling absolutely devastated. I had to be in a wheelchair for a year, my speech was very poor and my confidence was shattered. I felt like life was over for me but I just knew I had to rebuild it.

With lots of support I eventually got work in an office. It wasn’t a career path I would have originally chosen, but the accident has changed the course of my life and I’ve accepted that now.

I heard about Friends of Attend ABI (FAABI) and decided to find out if it could offer me any social activities that were available for people with head injuries. I started by coming to a discussion group, I felt that we all had a connection because we went through similar experiences and so I didn’t feel alone. I didn’t feel stupid when I said what I wanted to say. This, alone, was refreshing and so FAABI was a safe haven.

Recently I came to FAABI’s Subbuteo evenings. I had never played Subbuteo before, however having been to FAABI before and knowing that it would be nothing but fun, I came to the first session.

Initially I came and simply saw it as a social thing where I would just come in and chat to other people about the games. However I started playing a few matches myself and found that I really got into it. I’ve always been a competitive person and Subbuteo bought that side right out of me! In the end, I ended up winning the entire competition and was very happy about this!

Overall, I think FAABI is fantastic. I personally see the social side of it as being the main benefit but it has given me so much more too. Because of FAABI, my confidence has grown and it has given me something to look forward to every week.

After my accident, I felt I had to start all over again in life and looking back, I believe I have achieved great things. My life now is very different to the life I had before but the most important thing is that I feel like I am living.