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The Walton Centre helps young man make extraordinary recovery from traumatic brain injury

1 year ago

The Walton Centre helps young man make extraordinary recovery from traumatic brain injury

Alun and Clare Evans were doing some last-minute Christmas shopping and visiting friends, when they got a phone call telling them their 18-year-old son Tudur had been in a bad car accident.

Rushing to the scene near their home in Corwen North Wales, they got there in time to see Tudur briefly before he was lifted into the air ambulance. He was taken to The Walton Centre, which is part of the Major Trauma Centre in Liverpool, for emergency care.

Alun said: “When we got there, it was clear Tudur’s car had hit a tree. He was being looked after by the medics and had been sedated, and he had had a big knock to the head. This happened the day before Christmas Eve, so it was quite a shock, and a very different Christmas to what we imagined.”

NHS Walton Centre

When Tudur arrived at The Walton Centre, clinicians immediately put him in an induced coma, to give his body a chance to settle while they reviewed and monitored his brain injuries, which included bleeds and swelling, causing pressure on his brain. Tudur was very closely monitored in case an emergency operation was needed, especially in the first 24 hours.

Alun continued: “He was ventilated and the doctors on ITU told us that he had experienced a subarachnoid haemorrhage, three intracerebral bleeds and bruising to the brain where his head had hit the car on impact with the tree. After a few days they tried reducing sedation, but this increased the pressure on his brain, which they measured with a pressure monitoring device that was fitted in his head.

“On day eight, as the ITU team weaned him off sedation, Tudur’s mum Clare was holding his hand, trying to stop him pulling his cannulas out. He got hold of her wedding ring with finger and thumb and started spinning it anti-clockwise up her finger until it spun no more and then pulled it off her finger as you would removing a nut off a bolt. He did this twice. This was the most hope we’d had since the accident as this was very relevant to him as a mechanic and made us realise that he was still with us.”

New Year’s Day, Tudur was taken off the ventilator and breathing unaided. Even though he looked groggy and not fully awake, Alun could tell that he recognised his mum and dad.

The Walton Centre

Tudur was moved to Sherrington Ward to recover further and went from strength to strength until, remarkably, being well enough to go home just a few weeks after staying in ITU.

Tudur said: “I was getting restless in the last week of being at The Walton Centre, but I understand now that they wanted to make absolutely sure I was ok before letting me go home. The week before I had been confusing dreams and reality, thinking I was in a petrol station waiting to get picked up, getting really frustrated that I wasn’t able to leave yet. But I appreciate now that I felt like this because of the head injury.”

Once home and around his friends and family, Tudur continued getting stronger and was back to work full time by mid-February, extraordinarily less than two months after the initial accident.

Tudur said: “I feel incredibly lucky because I know this isn’t the outcome for everyone who has injuries like this. All I have is a black spot in my memory for the time of the accident and the days afterwards, and for that I am truly grateful for all the care provided to me by all of the emergency services, The Walton Centre and its’ hardworking teams.”

Visit The Walton Centre website here.



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