I was a 24 year old man working on building sites in Leipzig, in the former East Germany in 1994. The Berlin Wall had been a memory for five years and there I was, grafting.
On a cold December 9th morning, everything changed. Permanently.
At six o’clock in the morning I walked into the house we were working on and fell 20 feet headfirst down an unguarded stairwell. I landed on my head on bare concrete.
My skull duly smashed and a large chunk wedged itself on to my brain.
I was rushed to Leipzig hospital already comatose.
My parents were telephoned and told, ‘Get as many members of your family here as we don’t expect Mr Nicholson to make it through the night.’
I was comatose for three weeks, but fortunately my skull healed without the need for surgery. I spent a further six weeks in hospital in Germany while the extent of my brain damage materialized.
If you saw me now you would never know, but the effects of the damage are numerous. I am partially sighted, my coordination is shot, I have weakness down my entire left side, I have migraines frequently, I developed epilepsy (now controlled) as a result of the damage and the list goes on.
But I’m still alive, I still function and I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts. I’m now married to Sharon and we have two children, Joshua and Hollie. Life is wonderful. Yes, I’m ill an awful lot of the time and I’ll never work again, but that’s just the way it is. Adapt, move on.
I’m attempting to put a bit back by sharing my twenty year story on my Facebook page, ‘Notes From The Brain Damaged Baron’. I talk about every aspect of living with brain injury every day of your life. It’s a hidden disability and more information and first hand stories must be heard.
I also have authored the book below in 1999.
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