"This year, 19,000 people in Ireland will be affected by an acquired brain injury. While you might acknowledge that it’s a staggering number, you never think it’ll happen to you or someone you love. Well, it happened to my family." Barbara O'Connell, CEO
Established in 2000 as the Peter Bradley Foundation, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland has been rebuilding lives for more than two decades.
The Peter Bradley Story
It takes passion, belief and caring to drive an organisation like Acquired Brain Injury Ireland. From its first inception, Acquired Brain Injury Ireland has placed people at the centre of its service and this ethos runs right throughout our not-for-profit organisation from the moment we answer the phone. Nobody every thinks a brain injury will happen to them. But it happens to 52 people in this country every day, often leaving them with a chronic, ongoing condition that can affect their lives and those of their family for months, years and even decades after the initial injury. Brain injury is a hidden phenomenon in Irish society.
Too often people who acquire brain injuries are young and they are left in inappropriate settings such as nursing homes, community hospitals or at home where families are unable to cope. That’s exactly what happened to my brother, Peter. After two serious road accidents by the age of 42, my brother Peter suffered two brain injuries which meant he was no longer able to live independently. To see him misplaced in a nursing home at such a young age, was devastating and this drove me, with the support of my family, to set up the Peter Bradley Foundation in 2000 which is now known as Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
By 2001, Peter moved into our first assisted-living residential service for people with acquired brain injury. Right from the outset our goal was to help people rebuild their lives and live life to their full potential, regaining as much independence as possible. In 20 years, this goal has not changed and remains as true as the first day we started. My brother Peter lives a life that allows him to be as independent as possible and the best part of all, is that he is interested in life again.
Acquired Brain Injury Ireland has come such a long way since then, now delivering neuro-rehabilitation through residential, community and day services in every province in Ireland to 1,200 brain injury survivors at any given time.
But with 19,000 new brain injuries acquired in Ireland every year, this is only the tip of the iceberg. It’s crucial that we continue to bring our passion and person-centred approach to advocate more funding to deliver services to thousands more people like Peter. More services will also reduce the caregiver burden on thousands of families enduring the aftermath of brain injuries caused by road collisions, stroke, falls and assaults.
Barbara O’Connell, Chief Executive Officer