Alex Danson, Team GB Hockey Captain, injured herself on holiday and has been unable to play hocket since. Recently she has talked publicly about the impact of her mild traumatic brain injury on her life and career.
'After the World Cup we had a bit of holiday time, so my boyfriend, Alex, and I booked a trip to Kenya. One evening we were out for dinner and there was a brick wall behind where I was sitting, about head height. I was leaning back with the back of my neck on the wall. Alex made a joke and, without thinking, I flung my head back and it hit the wall.
Although I knew something wasn't right straight after the freak accident, I just tried to carry on and trained as if nothing had happened.
Although she knew she wasn't completely well after cracking her head, Alex said she continued with the holiday and even went running. GB Hockey sent her to a concussion specialist in Birmingham for tests and she could hardly open her eyes.
I have struggled to tolerate light, sound or people talking to me since hitting my head, I live my life at a tenth of what I used to. It's hard, but I still believe I'll make a full recovery. I hope to go back to playing for my country.'
Despite being in pain Alex was determined to keep on pushing herself in training and continued to attend team events.
Six weeks after returning home she persuaded the team doctor she was fit enough for a team-bonding away day pottery painting. Alex told BBC Sport: 'I went for an hour and all I remember was talking to my team-mate next to me and I lost the ability to speak. I just couldn't say any words. Obviously I was frightened but I didn't want to cause a scene so I went back to painting my egg cup. I went home as soon as that session was done.'
'After getting home I felt violently sick and passed out. Knowing this was serious, I went to the hospital and suffered a seizure before being rushed for a CT scan. Nothing showed up on this scan or on an MRI or MRA scan. There's a theory that because I waited so long to have the scan, there may have been a bleed that was reabsorbed, which is why it didn't show up.'
'One of the hardest parts in all of this, aside from the physical trauma, has been losing my identity. Going from leading my country, aspiring to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics to just trying to get through a day. Head injuries are serious, debilitating and lonely. I hit my head one day and my whole life was pulled away from me'.
Now, the wedding plans are well underway and Alex is engaged in a full and active rehabilitation programme at Hobbs Rehabilitation.
Alex goes to Hobbs South East for specialist vestibular rehabilitation.where a multi disciplinary approach including physiotherapy, neuropsychology and a graded exercise programme tailored to functional retraining targeted to Alex's skill set. Importantly, a big part of the Hobbs Vestibular and Balance Service is education and understanding of the symptoms, recognising the triggers early and on how to manage them so that Alex can effectively work towards returning to her usual activities as and when appropriate.
She will be guest speaker at a large conference hosted by Hobbs Rehabilitation in November where leading academics and clinicians will explore and develop robust treatment pathways for better outcomes. Her testimony and experience will help to shape the current perspectives and future directions in the treatment of mild traumatic brain injury.
Ethan is our very own pocket rocket... he has a rare blood clotting disorder which caused difficulties at birth, resulting in Diplegic Cerebral Palsy with associated visual impairment, speech delay and additional learning and sensory needs.
As he learned to move, Ethan's legs became very tight and stiff but with intensive physiotherapy from Hobbs Children's Services, Botox injections, use of his Mollii Suit and weekly Hippotherapy, Ethan continues to make great progress and gain new skills.
He practices independent walking with his walking frame every day and can push himself along in his wheelchair at speed! Ethan's physiotherapy sessions work to increase his leg strength, balance and range of movement, but his parents continue to implement his physio principles into his daily life... he cycles with Wheels For All, rides horses, trampolines and takes swimming lessons with Level Water, specialists in swimming lessons for children with disabilities. He is now the proud owner of his first bunk bed and loves to climb the ladder, organising his body as he goes and has taken on a new hobby, Para-climbing!
'After my injury at 18 I believed my life was over. I'd never be independent, never fulfil my dreams and I'd be housebound for the rest of my life. In January I became paralysed from the neck down with conflicting diagnoses of a spinal stroke or idiopathic transverse myelitis. Unlike others that suffer these injuries i was an incomplete spinal cord injury which meant that there was light at the end of the tunnel that after a long road of rehab I would one day become independent again!
After my acute hospital stage I underwent a long rehab process, something which I'm still undergoing, it's very long and tiring but every week I see improvements which spurs me on to become better than the week before. If I have a few days off in between sessions I can really feel that my body gets stiffer and it becomes a lot harder to walk, therefore my rehab really happens everyday whether it's at Hobbs Rehab or at home I am always stretching and walking in order to better myself.
Rehab is so important to me as it has taught me how to become independent again, it encourages me to get better and is a big support in helping me to cope with the big changes in my life!
I'm so thankful that my therapy team are always there for me and try to make my sessions enjoyable as possible as for a 19 year old it's a very different environment to what I'm used to, but I love going and getting to see the real improvements that I'm making!
Derek is an active family man who was struck down by a sudden Stroke which shrunk his vibrant, active world overnight to the confines of a hospital bed and the journey from there to the outside world has been an uphill struggle all the way.
He approached his rehabilitation with the expectation that he is not destined to remain where he was; there is potential for more and more, and he's right. Throughout his rehab at Hobbs South East, he has shown incredible
spirit and has really embraced rthe whole range of tools available to him, including taking part in a study on the AlterG Bionic Leg with the University of Winchester. He has used FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) to great effect helping him to cycle round the Isle of Wight, there's no stopping him.
He took part in the Superhero Triathlon in 2018 and is currently planning his trip this Summer, another cycling challenge. Specific, targeted exercise programmes and working with a personal trainer to drill down into the detail of functional improvement have been the key to his success...bravo!
After a serious car accident in 2015, resulting in a complete spinal cord injury, Jemima was paralysed from the waist down. She has struggled with the reality of her injuries and having been a competitve Eventer before the accident, has used that ambition and determination to motivate her through the tough times. For Jemima, rehabilitation is a full time commitment and the results speak for themselves. She is working with the Para Dressage GB coach and credits her strength training and rehab progression for making this possible. She has weekly neurological and sports physiotherapy, trains in the Eksobionics exoskeleton, does pilates and rides 3-4 times every week.
But it doesn't end there...Jemima is UK ambassador for the Eksobionics exoskeleton, travelling the UK and beyond showcasing the benefits of using the Ekso as a rehab tool. Catch her blog at JGparadressage.com to follow her incredible progress.