Sorry but this comes from the Vernon heart written by Brian’s daughter Sharon:
My father is Brian Vernon and nearly two years ago after living in Peacehaven for 47 years he collapsed at home and was rushed in to hospital, for us as a family it was the most awful time and when he arrived in A & E he started to have many seizures and was eventually taken up to intensive care and ventilated.
The stay in hospital in the Royal Sussex County – Brighton was to be a long one in fact it was for 1 year and 6 weeks. The care we received was excellent and I cannot thank intensive care, HDU and the Emerald Ward staff enough for their dedication and wiping our many tears away as well as making my father as comfortable as he could be – they are our heroes and we still pop in from time to time to say hi with a box of chocolates.
After about 6 months he was eventually diagnosed as having had encephalitis although we were given many diagnosis’ and the end of life meeting where we were advised he had a brain tumour! This has to be the lowest moment of our lives – my best friend had died of this 6 years previuosly and I just thought OMG I know what is coming! Two months later they did another CT scan and surprise the brain tumour had disappeared!
Nobody of my father’s age has ever survived what he has been through so he is a bit of a superstar really!
After some time it was felt that my father needed to leave hospital and we fought very hard to find somewhere in Sussex where he could go for some rehabilitation with a Brain Injury at his age. You cannot imagine just how hard this was for us (we just wanted him home with his family) or how awful some of the places we went to see were – we cried many tears for him but also for some of the people who had been put in such dreadful conditions – it was totally heart breaking!!!
We were one of the lucky few we managed to get him in to a place in Eastbourne called Chasley Trust, it is very expensive and this is not somewhere he can remain forever. There are just two places in Sussex that offer this service ….
My father is a shadow of his former self and it is very distressing to see him struggle with the every days things that we take for granted. Here are some of things he has to put up with:
– He can’t sleep and suffers terrible nerve pain and spasms that take control of his body
– Seizures are a regular occurrence in his life and we hate them, there is no warning, no pattern, no routine – if they arrive then we just hope they do not go over 5 minutes or we are off to hospital
– He is incontinent
– He can no longer walk although in Physio he is trying and has managed steps
– He memory is disappearing
– He cannot speak properly, he gets the wrong words – he used to communicate so well and it is so frustrating for him!
– He has a rig (a tube in his stomach to feed him or take medication to him if a seizure occurs)
– He has to have 24/7 one to one care
The one thing we all have is Hope, Drive, Determination and Love and no one shows this more than my lovely pops, he will tell his arm off when it is spasms, he will try, try and try to do things every day and we love him for it!
He loves chocolate cake and sweet things and we try and bring the things to him that he misses. Just recently he said Christmas, Home, Christmas which broke our heart as we cannot move this quickly but we so want him home!
Brain Injury is a cruel, cruel thing … but together we will form a new different live – if you have family, love and hope you can achieve it all!