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The Founder

The Founder

Hi! My name is Annie Ricketts, and I am the founder of ‘The Inside of Brain Injury.’

I am a survivor who ‘fell through the net’ and didn’t get any practical specialist help for the first five years post injury, despite an early diagnosis of traumatic brain injury (TBI). I understand exactly what it means to have been persistently dismissed by doctors…

Having said that, I also understand the difficulties I presented because I couldn’t describe what was wrong with me. I have written quite a number of articles about this over the years and am aware of the loophole that exists. There are a number of reasons why people fall through the net and don’t get the medical treatment they need – and is available.

I don’t think it is the factual detail in my story that is interesting, at least, not to me. For me, it is what I have learned along the way that is useful to other people, and so much more poignant. If I look back and consider how long it would have taken me to learn all the facts I now know about brain injury – and the brain – with the brain I had before, I would say maybe it wouldn’t have taken me that long at all. Learning was easy for me back then, I was quick and had a photographic memory. But, it doesn’t just come down to this.

The reality is that it has taken me eighteen plus years at the time of writing (injury was July 23rd 2000) to do more than just learn facts about brain injury. My experiences are way more valuable, as they are for everyone, and I couldn’t have gained all that insight a day quicker than I did.

My belief, my view, is that every experience we go through has value. For me, looking back, it doesn’t matter about the psychological or emotional pain I went through along the way, what matters to me is that we share what we have learned. What matters is how much empathy and compassion I have for others because of that pain…

Over the years I have naturally focused on the insights I have gleaned about my broken brain. I have used them as stepping stones in my own recovery journey and as a result of this I have been able to offer perspectives that are often very valuable to others.

You will read a lot about beliefs and the types of beliefs we all hold on this site because they are so important to how we recover, and who we recover to be.

I always accept people for who they are and in the light of whatever they believe. I hope that you find me open and accepting.

More from the founder

Since July 23rd 2000 I have struggled to fix my own traumatic brain injury (TBI). In many ways it is pretty much the only subject I know anything about and, in one way or another, every experience of my life since falling on my head has been related back to that incidence.

My belief is that I will always be fixing my brain and working out the aftermath that still causes differences in my behaviours and actions. I have been incredibly focused on getting ‘me’ back and that is something that is unlikely to ever stop because I was always introspective by nature before any of this happened to me. I have always had the desire within me to know myself as well as I can do.

For the majority of this time I have been without any specialist help and the periods during which this was given I didn’t really understand what people were driving at or trying to tell me. It was as though they pulled the lever on the pin-ball machine and sent the ball flying, but as if it then took years for it to stop bouncing around and finally fall into the slot.

Through a large number of seemingly random events I ended up finding out that I could help myself more than I had ever realised. By finally treating the secondary outcomes of my injury, namely the cascade of damaging chemicals, I have gained a clarity that has been entirely missing for these eighteen years.

I guess the thing is that you may be surrounded by people – but still not be fully understood – I am here for you too – and can introduce you support groups where you will find others who may have encountered similar experiences to your own.

This is the part of my journey that I most want to share – understanding your brain, what has happened to it, and how to fix this chemical onslaught so that you can finally focus on fixing the physical neurological damage that causes the cognitive impairments that seem impossible to manage, let alone mend.

Further Reasons

There are some other reasons why I have wanted to bring this site together for many years. They all stem from personal experiences and the thousands of stories I have heard over the years.

Besides the physical, cognitive and common emotional and behavioural outcomes of brain injury, there are also many other commonalities among the community of stories. These commonalities continue to happen to people, regardless of the cause of their brain injury, and these people continue to struggle, find information, support and guidance.

From the Founder – Transparency

I am all for transparency! Not only because I support other vulnerable people, but also because I am made this way.

Like most people who have been affected by brain injury, many areas of my life were changed. I was unable to follow my career, lost huge amounts of money, lost family and friends, attempted suicide (through manipulation), ‘fell through the net’ and didn’t get medical help for many years, and more…

The fact is that these kinds of things happen to most people who suffer the insult of brain injury. Many even become homeless or end up in the penal system because their brain injuries were not recognised, diagnosed, or treated.

I am on this! I have been for the last eight years and more and during that time have helped hundreds of people through the worst times. There are many who have become trusted and lifelong friends, and many of these people reach out in the same ways that I do.

I want to continue doing this; it is what I am good at. My goals are far from being selfish. In the long-term I hope to employ other people who have been affected by brain injury. To achieve this and more, I have to have a plan.

The plan

In order to grow our reach and to be able to bring change we need funds to pay for expertise in a number of fields, such as, marketing and content and social media management. 

Part of our future plans includes being able to bring professional expertise to our content. To achieve these aims we have created revenue streams through advertising and working with affiliates and connected partners enabling sponsorship. We will use this income to pay for:

*the upkeep and development of this site

*expert services

*professional contributions

*other financial goals 

 

As the businesses grows it is our aim to employ people at every possible opportunity who are living with the outcomes of brain injury. This may involve research, managing communications and relationships and much more. This means we need a steady flow of income because of the risks involved for individuals. We need to build financial safety nets before this can happen.

There are thousands of people who do advocate or want to advocate for brain injury, if you would like to get involved please use the registration form at the bottom of this page.

The dream

The dream is to be able to fund research and to connect organisation to promote medical education and protocols. A lot of work has already been started by brain injury organisations, researchers, experts and specialists medical companies. We aim to increase collaboration and reduce overlap.

Other aims that will be harnessed by ‘Global Brain Injury Awareness CIC’:

1. To educate the public to prevent brain injuries – to slow the growth of this global epidemic

2. To initiate and co-ordinate events and run them across the world. By coming together in this way we can get a lot of media interest in these activities and media reporting is far and beyond the best way to reach the general public

3. Through these awareness events we can educate and increase understanding about the commonalities people report, such as being rejected and misunderstood, not getting medical help, problems with insurance claims, stigma and misunderstandings, the lack of information and so much more. Education brings cultural change.

The more we educate the more we change the world around us. Understanding is a powerful thing. It includes people. It reduces fear. It promotes support and healing for people who are struggling with tremendously complex and impossible outcomes.

You can find out more about me on these links:

My Dream

My Story

 

 

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